Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood leader sentenced to death
An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and 682 supporters to death today, intensifying a crackdown on the movement that could trigger protests and political violence ahead of an election next month.
The Brotherhood, in a statement issued in London, described the ruling as "chilling" and said it would "continue to use all peaceful means to end military rule".
The death sentence passed on Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, will infuriate members of the group which has been the target of raids, arrests and bans since the army forced President Mohamed Mursi from power in July.
Badie, considered a conservative hardliner, was charged with crimes including inciting violence that followed the army overthrow of Mursi, who is also on trial on an array of charges.
The 70-year-old veterinary professor stood trial in Cairo in a separate case hours after the sentence was affirmed. "If they executed me one thousand times I will not retreat from the right path," Badie was quoted as saying by lawyer Osama Mursi, who attended one of his trials in Cairo.
In a separate case, a court affirmed death sentences on 37 others. The rulings were part of a final judgement on 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters condemned last month. The remaining defendants were jailed for life, judicial sources said.