Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi dies in court – The Punch

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File: Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi stands behind the bars during his trial in Cairo. Photo: AFP Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who was ousted after one year of divisive rule, died after falling ill during a court hearing on Monday, the attorney general said. He was 67. Morsi, also the country’s first civilian president, had been “animated” during a hearing in the retrial of an espionage case in which he was accused of collaborating with adverse foreign powers and militant groups, judicial and security sources said. “The court granted him his request to speak for five minutes… He fell to the ground in the cage… and was transported immediately to the hospital. A medical report found… no pulse or breathing,” said the office of the attorney general. “He arrived at the hospital dead at 4.50 pm exactly and there were no new, visible injuries found on the body.” One of Morsi’s legal defence team described the moment he received news of his death. “We heard the banging on the glass cage from the rest of the other inmates and them screaming loudly that Morsi had died,” the lawyer, Osama El Helw, told AFP. “I saw him from afar wheeled out on the stretcher from the courts complex” from Tora, in southern Cairo, said another one of his lawyers, Abdelmoneim Abdel-Maksoud. Since Morsi’s overthrow on July 3, 2013, his former defence minister now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has waged an ongoing crackdown targeting his supporters from the Muslim Brotherhood with thousands jailed and hundreds facing death sentences. – ‘Killing him slowly’ – A judicial source said Morsi had fainted during a break in the trial hearing. The court officials “had just finished the session for the espionage case and they informed the judge that he had fainted and needed to be transported to a hospital where he later died,” he told AFP. Abdelmaksoud, Morsi’s lawyer, was unable to say where his body was and when his funeral would be held. “He (Morsi) wanted to be buried where he hailed from originally. However this isn’t really up to the family but for the powers that be,” he said. Morsi last saw his family in September 2018 and a month later one of his sons, Abdallah, was arrested. Abdelmaksoud was the last member of his defence team to see the former Islamist president, back in November 2017. The Brotherhood’s political wing — the Freedom and Justice Party — accused Egyptian authorities of “deliberately killing him slowly”. They “put him in solitary confinement… they withheld medication and gave him disgusting food… they did not grant him the most basic human rights,” it said in a statement. Morsi’s official Facebook page blamed Egypt’s current president with the hashtag “Sisi killed the President”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong ally of Morsi during his brief tenure as Egypt’s leader, paid tribute to the “martyr”. Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, another backer of the Islamist, took to Twitter to say “we received with deep sorrow the news of the sudden death of former President Dr. Mohammed Morsi”. The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas hailed Morsi’s influence. It said Morsi died “after a long struggle spent in the service of Egypt and its people and primarily the Palestinian cause… in the context of the long struggle with the Zionist enemy.” (AFP) DOWNLOAD THE PUNCH NEWS APP NOW ON
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