Turkey condemns Egypt over Morsi life sentence

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
Published 19.06.2016 20:13
Updated 19.06.2016 20:23
Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands inside a defendants cage in a makeshift courtroom at the national police academy, in an eastern suburb of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo)
Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands inside a defendants cage in a makeshift courtroom at the national police academy, in an eastern suburb of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo)

Turkey condemned the life sentence handed down by Egypt Saturday to former President Mohamed Morsi, said an official statement.

"We express our deep concern and condemn the life imprisonment given to President Morsi who has remained in prison since 2013," said a statement posted on the Turkish Foreign Ministry website.

"We believe that this decision will not contribute to Egypt's peace and stability".

Morsi, along with 10 co-defendants, were accused by Egypt's army-backed authorities of spying for Qatar and leaking classified documents to the Gulf statelet during his single year as president.

A court on Saturday sentenced Morsi to life on charges of "leading a terrorist group"-in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was blacklisted by the Egyptian authorities in late 2013.

The court, however, cleared Morsi of charges of spying for Qatar, which was a main backer of Morsi's administration while he was in power.

Egypt's first democratically elected leader, Morsi was ousted by the military in a 2013 military coup following protests against his presidency.

He has since been slapped with life-in-prison and death sentences for "conspiring against Egypt"-with Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah-and for breaking out of jail in 2011.

He has also been sentenced to a 20-year jail term for allegedly committing murder.

Morsi and his co-defendants, along with a number of independent observers, say the charges are politically driven.

Since Morsi's ouster and imprisonment, the Egyptian authorities have launched a harsh crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group-killing hundreds and jailing tens of thousands-while relations between Cairo and Doha have nosedived.

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