World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Monday expected the country's appeals court to overturn a decision by an Upper Egyptian court to refer 683 people, including the group's top leader Mohamed Badie, to the mufti to consider possible death sentences against them.
"We are confident that the Appeals Court will overturn the ruling," Hassan Saleh, a member of the Brotherhood's legal committee told Anadolu Agency, describing the decision as "a violation of the law."
"The appeals court can't accept any violation of the law," he added.
Earlier Monday, a court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya referred the case of 683 people, including Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, to the mufti, Egypt's top religious official, after finding them guilty of attacking police stations in the province.
In Egypt, the opinion of the mufti is not binding for court judges, which means that an initial sentence can be endorsed even if the mufti disagreed with the judge's ruling.
The same court sentenced 37 people to death and handed other 491 others life sentences (25 years of imprisonment) on similar charges.
Saleh said the rulings are "unprecedented" at both local and international levels, adding that the verdicts "violate all legal and constitutional rules" and are "politically motivated."
Egypt's army-backed authorities have launched a massive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since the ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi – a Brotherhood leader himself - by the army last July.
In the eight months since, thousands of the groups' members and sympathizers have been arrested and convicted of multiple charges.Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2014, 15:52