Cairo says no to Morsi life sentence. A step towards national reconciliation
by Loula Lahham

Appeals Court overturns life imprisonment for the former president. He still faces a series of trials on charges of spying and torture. Analysts and experts talk about political judgments. Egyptian scholar: Reconciliation must involve "all people."


Cairo (AsiaNews) - This week two sections of the Cairo Supreme Court overturned heavy prison sentences [life imprisonment, ed] imposed on former Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi, close to the Islamic extremist wing, and the highest of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders . An organization inserted in the long list of terrorist movements not only in Egypt, but in several other countries. This decision of the magistrates opened two different scenarios for the country.

Mohamad Morsi, the first popularly elected president in the history of the country and expelled in 2013 following a street movement supported by the military, has been in prison for three years now. And, at the judicial level, faces a range of trials:

- Relating to the events of the Ittihadiya presidential palace [arrest and torture of protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace, ed]: in this case the Court confirmed the prison sentence to 20 years in prison.

- For espionage on behalf of the Palestinian Islamic extremist organization Hamas: in this case the judges have decided to set aside the judgment of life imprisonment.

- The trial for the assault on the prison in January 2011: the death penalty was overturned and a request for retrial.

- The trial for espionage on behalf of the State of Qatar, for which the courts have condemned Morsi to 40 years in prison. In this case the Supreme Court will rule on the matter tomorrow, November 27th.

What lead to this series of rulings of the judiciary? Is this perhaps the attempt of a part of the Egyptian government to calm the waters with the Brotherhood, the main agent of protest and revolt in the country?

The intellectual and academic Ahmad Ban says that recent court rulings are a mingling of politics and justice: "Morsi and his comrades are tried by civilian and normal courts. In general, we can observe that there is an influence of the political sphere, especially in those countries where there is a clear division between the areas of the judiciary and those of politics. This is why a reform of this system is needed today more than ever. "

Bashir Abdel-Fattah, researcher and expert on Islamic movements at the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Al-Ahram, adds: "Reconciliation must be the result of an action that involves all the people. Speaking of independence of the judiciary with respect to the general policy of any state is pure utopia. However, the Egyptian legislature - he concludes - is in principle quite impartial and the problem of these processes is and will always be, and unfortunately, the lack of evidence and errors in the preparation of the investigative dossier".

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose movement was born in 1928, are among the first to conceive and give birth to what we now call political Islam; they intend to establish sharia, the Islamic law, in many different ways, including the use of violence.

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