Former president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years on Tuesday in the ‘Presidential Palace’ case, alongside 12 other defendants.
Special police units surrounded the intensively guarded Police Academy in New Cairo where the session took place.
The Cairo Criminal Court found Morsi and 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian, guilty of ‘demonstrating power and violence’ and ‘inciting violence’ while sentencing the two other defendants in the case to 10 years in prison. All 15 defendants were acquitted of the killing protesters charge.
The ousted president and the Brotherhood leaders, including also Morsi’s deputy chief of staff, Assad Al-Sheikha, former head of president’s office, Ahmed Abdel Atty and Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim, were accused in the incidents of violence outside the Presidential Palace on 5 December 2012.
At least 10 protesters were killed in clashes between anti-Morsi and pro-Morsi demonstrations on that day, that erupted after anti-Morsi protesters had staged a sit-in in front of the palace.
The clashes also left El-Husseini Abu-Deif, a journalist at the weekly El-Fagr newspaper killed.
Morsi is co-defendant in four more trials. He is accused of escaping Wadi El-Natrun Prison on 28 January 2011, insulting the judiciary, espionage by working with foreign Islamist groups to “create chaos” in Egypt; and of espionage with Qatar.
Most other defendants in the case are facing several other trials, and are accused of murder, torture, storming police stations, and state facilities.Some have received death sentences in previous verdicts.
Morsi has been in custody since his ouster by the military on 3 July. Until his first appearance in court on 4 November, his place of detention was unknown.
Alleged leaks from the office of then-defence minister, now President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, allegedly between members of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (SCAF), argue that Morsi was being held in a maximum security navy prison in Abu Qir, close to Alexandria.
Contrary to a law that forbids the detention of civilians in military facilities, the military figures were heard in the recordings discussing ways to cover up the detention and falsify information related to his whereabouts.
Morsi was later transferred to Burg Al-Arab Prison in Alexandria in November 2013.
The former president came to power on 30 June 2012, after winning the elections earlier that year. He was ousted on 3 July 2013 by the army, following mass protests against his tenure.