An Egyptian court seeks the death penalty for the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader Mohammad Badie and 13 other members of the group for inciting chaos and planning attacks on police and army institutions, judicial sources said on Monday.
The court formally referred the case to the Grand Mufti, the country’s highest Islamic legal official, which is the first step towards imposing a death sentence.
Egyptian law requires any capital sentence to be referred to the Mufti for a religious opinion before any execution can take place, although the Mufti’s ruling is not binding.
Once the court issues a final verdict, set for April 11, the defendants can appeal it.
The 14 include the Brotherhood’s Salah Sultan, a preacher, and Saad al-Husseiny, ex-governor of Kafr el-Sheikh province.
Egypt has jailed thousands linked to the Muslim Brotherhood since the army removed president Mohammad Mursi from power in July 2013, a year after he was elected.
As the top leader of the now-outlawed Brotherhood, Badie has already been sentenced to multiple life terms. He was one of hundreds given the death sentence in a mass trial last year that drew international criticism of Egypt’s judicial system.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Mursi, describes the Brotherhood as a major security threat.
The MB says it is committed to peaceful activism and had nothing to do with recent militant violence.