Egypt court upholds life sentence for Mursi in Qatar case

This file photo taken on June 18, 2016 shows Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing a red uniform, gesturing from behind the defendant's bars during his trial on espionage charges at a court in Cairo. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2017

Egypt court upholds life sentence for Mursi in Qatar case

CAIRO: A top court has upheld a life sentence against Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Mursi on charges stemming from a trial over spying for Qatar, a judicial official and his lawyer said.
The court of cassation upheld a life sentence first passed in June 2016 on the charge of leading an illegal group but threw out a 15-year sentence on the charge of having stolen secret documents, said his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud.
A life sentence in Egypt amounts to 25 years in prison, and the court’s rulings cannot be appealed.
Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, was overthrown by the military in July 2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule.
The court also upheld death sentences for documentary producer Ahmed Ali Abdo, EgyptAir cabin crew member Mohamed Adel Kilani and university teaching assistant Ahmed Ismail Thabet, as well as a life term and 15 years for two others, the official said.
The trial hinged on accusations that the defendants had passed on state secrets to Qatar.
Qatar has denied the charges.

Mursi, who came to power after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak, was elected in 2012 and ruled for a year before his ouster.
His year in office was divisive and millions had taken to the streets demanding his resignation before the army toppled and detained him.
He has been sentenced separately to 20 years in prison over deadly clashes between protesters and security forces outside his palace in December 2012.
A court overturned a death sentence in another trial over prison breaks and violence during the 2011 revolt, pending a retrial.

Following Mursi’s overthrow, a police crackdown killed hundreds of protesters who supported him.
Since his ouster, Egypt has been battling an insurgency by a Daesh affiliate based in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers and dozens of Coptic Christians.
Courts have sentenced hundreds of extremists to death, including other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, though many have appealed and been granted new trials.
A veteran activist and engineering professor, Mursi emerged as a compromise candidate for the Brotherhood to field in Egypt’s first democratic presidential election in 2012.
He narrowly won the vote but was soon accused of failing to represent all Egyptians and of trampling the ideals of the anti-Mubarak uprising.

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.


Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 


Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.