Badie Death Sentence Reduced to Life in Egypt
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Egypt's Grand Mufti commuted the death sentence handed to the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie, to life sentence.
The death sentences for five others were also reduced to life by Shawki Allam, the country's highest religious authority.
Six others have been sentenced to death in absentia.
Badie and other defendants were sentenced to death on June 19 for the killing of police officers during a protest, but the verdict was rejected by the Mufti on August 7.
One of the three judges in the case said that the "Mufti said that, in his opinion, the court relied solely in the case on investigations that were not alone enough to condemn the defendants."
Egyptian law requires any capital sentence to be referred to the Grand Mufti for an opinion before any execution can take place.
In an unusual move, prosecutors had asked the religious leader to reconsider his decision.
"It is a massive security crackdown aimed at keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of the political process. A few months ago the Amnesty International called the ruling a mockery of the justice," Shahira Amin, a Cairo-based journalist, told Al Jazeera.
"It looks like some judges are handing down these outrageous sentences to stay in favour with the military-backed authorities and to promote their own personal interests."
"I would say that this [amendment of the sentence] is also due to street pressure. We've seen Muslim Brotherhood protests continue unabated," she said.
"Justice remains elusive in today's Egypt."
Badie had already received a confirmed death sentence in a separate case along with 182 supporters in a case which triggered outrage among rights groups.
The democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government was ousted from power by the army last year.