The court’s decision came two months after it referred the case against the Brotherhood’s “general guide,” Mohamed Badie, and hundreds of others to the state’s highest religious authority, the grand mufti, the first step toward imposing a death sentence.
They were charged over violence that erupted in the southern Egyptian town of Minya in July in the aftermath of the army coup that ousted then-president Mohamed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood member. One senior police officer was killed in the violence.
Lawyers say the ruling can be overturned on appeal. It was not immediately clear how many sentences had been confirmed, with the lawyers giving estimates ranging from 182 to 197. In either case, it would be largest mass death sentence to be confirmed in Egypt in recent memory.
Lawyers boycotted the opening of the trial on March 25 to protest an earlier mass death sentence by Judge Said Youssef. A month after that session, the judge sentenced 683 people to death, including Badie. Of the 683, all but 110 were tried in absentia, according to defense lawyer Khaled el-Komi.
Death sentences issued for those in absentia are automatically canceled in Egypt if they turn themselves in or are apprehended, and a retrial is ordered.
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