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Cairo court upholds 20-year sentence against ex-president Morsi

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Egypt's top appeals court today upheld a 20-year prison sentence against former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi for attacks on protesters who took to the streets in 2012 against his one-year rule.

The judgment is the first confirmed sentence against Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, who was overthrown by then-army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi - now Egypt's president - amid mass protests in July 2013.

The former Muslim Brotherhood leader has also received a death sentence and two other lengthy jail terms in other cases. Those sentences are still subject to appeal.

The Court of Cassation also rejected the appeals of eight other defendants in the case, who had received sentences of 10 to 20 years.

Morsi and his fellow defendants had been found guilty of use of force, false imprisonment and torture against protesters who gathered outside his presidential palace in December 2012.

But they were cleared of the murder of up to 11 people killed in clashes after his supporters broke up the protests, charges which could have led to the death penalty.

At the time, Morsi's Islamist supporters slammed the convictions as "military orders," while Amnesty International said the trial was "a travesty of justice."

Egyptian courts have passed hundreds of death sentences against Morsi supporters since his overthrow, mostly for a wave of violence that followed the killing of hundreds of his backers in police operations against their sit-ins in Cairo.

Most of the sentences remain subject to appeal or retrial, with only one person known to have been hanged so far, for the killing of a rival anti-Islamist protester.

- dpa

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