• Former president’s death sentence approved by Grand Mufti
  • Mursi along with others were sentenced to death by hanging
  • Mursi also sentenced to life in prison for espionage

An Egyptian court has upheld the death sentence handed to former president Mohammed Mursi, after the Grand Mufti approved the decision.

Mursi was handed a death sentence in May, but the verdict was only confirmed today following consultation with Egypt’s highest religious authority, which has approved the sentence.

Mursi along with other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Five other members of the Muslim Brotherhood including the group’s leader Mohammed Badie all saw their sentences upheld by an Egyptian court.

The decision came on the same day that Mursi was also sentenced to life in prison for espionage by an Egyptian court.

He was accused of spying for Palestinian militant group Hamas, Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and Iran.

The sentences follow Mursi also being sentenced in late April to 20 years in prison over the death of protesters in 2012.

The decision to uphold the verdict was delivered just weeks ahead of the 30 June anniversary of the former president’s dramatic removal from power, and risks reigniting unrest at a crucial time for the North African country.

The death penalty handed to former president Mohamed Mursi could see mass protests return to Egypt

Behind bars in a Cairo courthouse on 16 May sat a man who two years earlier had been at the helm of a new Egypt as its first democratically elected leader. But when the judge handed Mohamed Mursi a death sentence for his involvement in a mass prison break in 2011, it reaffirmed the drastic changes that have swept across the country in recent years.

In the hope of attracting billions of dollars of investment, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has promised the international community a stable business environment, following the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) held in Sharm el-Sheikh in March this year. Any return to the protests and street battles of 2011-13 would undo all the progress made of late. Read more