CAIRO, EGYPT - An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced 11 Muslim Brotherhood leaders to life in prison on espionage charges for allegedly passing state secrets to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Among those sentenced in Cairo criminal court was the outlawed Brotherhood's chief, Mohamed Badie. It was the latest of several sentences against Badie, who received a life sentence last week on charges related to mass prison breaks during the 2011 uprising that brought down the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak..
The court formally dropped charges against the late former president, Mohamed Morsi, who collapsed and died in June during an earlier court session on the case. His death brought criticism from local and international rights groups who accused the government of deliberately denying medical care to political prisoners.
Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure, became Egypt's first freely-elected president in 2012. The military, led by then defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, toppled Morsi in 2013 amid massive protests against his brief, one-year rule.
Authorities have since branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and arrested thousands of its members.
Wednesday's court session also saw three others sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the same national security charges. Two others got seven-year sentences, and five others were acquitted.