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Egypt's mufti endorsed Morsi death sentence, website says

All death sentences must carry endorsement of government's leading religious authority, who is asked to render religious opinion
Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi (AFP)

The Egyptian news website Misrawi said that Dr Shawqi Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, has endorsed the death sentence against former president Mohamed Morsi and the rest of the defendants in the case of their escaping from Wadi al-Natroun Prison.

In Egypt, all death sentences must have the endorsement of the country’s mufti, who as the government's leading religious authority is asked for a religious opinion on each case. Scores of other cases have also been referred for the mufti’s opinion on the sentences, according to the Middle East Monitor website.

In the almost three years since the 2013 coup that ousted Morsi, Egypt’s only freely elected president, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on his supporters and members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, killing hundreds and throwing tens of thousands behind bars.

The Misawri website cited sources as saying that the mufti sent his reply in secrecy to the criminal court, in which he said that the Mufti’s Office had approved the court’s decision.

The website said that the Cairo criminal court had referred the papers of Morsi and a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, foremost among them Issam al-Iryan and Saad al-Katatni, to the mufti for a religious opinion about their sentences. 

According to the website, the other defendants are: Muhammad Khyrat al-Shatir, Muhammad al-Biltaji, Ahmad Abd al-Aati, Sayyid Mahmoud Izzat, Mitwalli Salahuddin, Ammar Muhammad Ahmad, Fayid al-Banna, Ahmad Rajab Sulayman, al-Hassan Muhammad Khayrat  Saad al-Din Al-Shatir, Sundus Aasim Sayyid Shalabi, Abu Bakr Kamal Mshali, Ahmad Muhammad Hakim, Rida Fahmi Khalil, Muhammad Osama, Hussein Muhammad al-Qazzaz, Imad al-Din Ali Atwah and Muhammad al-Zayyan.