Egypt says Mufti rejects Brotherhood leader death verdict, urges rethink

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 07, 2014 6:31 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court asked the top religious authority on Thursday to reconsider his decision to reject its death sentence against the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 13 supporters on charges of murder and possession of firearms.

An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, and the other defendants to death on June 19. It also referred the verdict to the Mufti, the state's highest Islamic legal official, whose opinion must be sought before any execution can take place.

However, judicial sources said on Thursday that a final verdict in the case had been postponed until Aug. 30, to allow the Mufti to reconsider his original report into the case.

The Mufti's office had no immediate comment on the issue. The Mufti's reports are not normally made public.

"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," Judge Mohamed Naji Shehata told Reuters.

Badie had already received a confirmed death sentence in a separate case along with 182 supporters in a case which triggered outrage among Western governments and rights groups. The Brotherhood was ousted from power by the army last year.

(Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad and Lin Noueihed; Editing by Alison Williams)