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Ousted Egyptian President Morsi sentenced to 20 years

By Andrew V. Pestano
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Ousted Egyptian President Morsi sentenced to 20 years
Egypt's former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi sits in the defendent's cage during his trial at a court in the capital, Cairo, Egypt, on April 21, 2015. An Egyptian court sentenced Morsi to 20 years in prison without parole on Tuesday for the killing of protesters in December 2012. Photo by Karem Ahmed/UPI. | License Photo

CAIRO, April 21 (UPI) -- Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for ordering the arrests and torture of protesters in 2012.

Morsi and 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, most also sentenced to 20 years, were not convicted of inciting the killing of protesters, which could carry a death sentence.

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The case dates back to December 2012 when Morsi supporters clashed with opposition protesters outside Egypt's presidential palace. At least 10 people were killed.

It is the first of several verdicts expected in multiple trials Morsi faces. Before he was removed from power in July 2013, he was Egypt's first democratically elected leader after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi faces other charges, including colluding with foreign militants, espionage, conspiring to commit terrorist acts in Egypt and endangering national security by leaking state secrets.

RELATED Court sentences former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi

Morsi argues he is the victim of a military coup led by current President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who was the chief of the army when Morsi was arrested.

The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed in Egypt in 2013. Human rights groups accuse the government of suppressing opposition.

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Amr Darrag, a top Muslim Brotherhood official, said the verdict was "travesty of justice."

"They want to pass a life sentence for democracy in Egypt," Darrag said.

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