Brotherhood leader Badie loses appeal against life sentence

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie. (AFP file)
Updated 15 November 2017

Brotherhood leader Badie loses appeal against life sentence

CAIRO: The leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, Mohamed Badie, lost his appeal on Wednesday against a life sentence for his role in violent clashes during political turmoil in 2013, judicial sources said.
The judgment by the court of cassation against the sentence, handed out in 2016, cannot be appealed.
Badie, 74, was convicted for his role in violence that broke out in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia days after the army, led by then Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, toppled President Mohamed Mursi following mass demonstrations against him.
Sissi was elected president the following year.
In the same case, the court on Wednesday also upheld life sentences against seven other people and handed 10-year sentences to 39 and three-year sentences to 19 others.
They were charged with killing three people and attempting to kill 16 others, thuggery, and vandalising public property among other offenses, related to the clashes in Ismailia in July 2013.
Authorities outlawed the Brotherhood after Mursi was ousted, and arrested thousands of its supporters. They also dissolved its Freedom and Justice Party, which Mursi led.
Badie has also been sentenced to life in eight other cases, only one of which has been confirmed. Two were canceled, two are pending appeal and three the subject of retrials.


US considering troop boost to counter Iran

Updated 38 min 52 sec ago

US considering troop boost to counter Iran

  • A source has said Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East
  • Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions

WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region.
Testifying before Congress, John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said the United States was “observing Iran’s behavior with concern.”
“We’re continuing to look at that threat picture and have the ability to dynamically adjust our force posture,” Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
A US official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East.
The official did not confirm where the troops would be sent, or in what timeframe, but said that the deployment would be due to frustrations with Iranian-linked groups’ attacks on US assets.
Rood, under questioning, denied a report by The Wall Street Journal the United States was considering sending 14,000 more troops — equivalent to the number sent over the past six months.
Esper also denied the 14,000 figure in a phone call with Senator Jim Inhofe, the chairman of the committee, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said.
US President Donald Trump later tweeted that: “The story today that we are sending 12,000 troops to Saudi Arabia is false or, to put it more accurately, Fake News!“
It was not immediately clear which report the president was referring to.
Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions, including trying to block all its oil exports.
In September, the United States said Iran was responsible for attacks on the major Abqaiq oil processing center in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally and Iran’s regional rival.
Riyadh then asked Washington for reinforcements, receiving two fighter squadrons, additional missile defense batteries, and bringing the number of US troops stationed in the Kingdom to about 3,000.
The United States has also been alarmed by an uptick in attacks on bases in Iraq, where major demonstrations triggered by economic discontent have also targeted Iran’s clerical regime and its overwhelming influence in its Shiite-majority neighbor.
“We’re lucky no one has been killed. There is a spike in rocket attacks,” another US official said.
“It’s clearly not Daesh. Everything is going in the right direction and it’s the right range,” the official said, contrasting Iranian capabilities with those of the extremist Daesh group.
Among the incidents, five rockets hit the Al-Asad Air Base on Tuesday, just four days after US Vice President Mike Pence visited US troops there.
Iran denied involvement in the September attack in Saudi Arabia, which was claimed by Tehran-backed Houthi militia.
The tensions come as Iran itself has faced major protests set off by a sharp hike in gas prices.