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Egypt court recommends death for 6 defendants, but not Mursi

Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences

Published: Updated:

An Egyptian court recommended death sentences on Saturday for six codefendants of Mohammad Mursi but not for the ousted Islamist president in their trial on espionage charges.

The presiding judge in the trial asked the mufti -- the country's official interpreter of Islamic law -- to consider death sentences for the six codefendants, saying the court would convene again on June 18 after the mufti's response.

It will then pronounce its verdict and sentence for the remaining five defendants, including Mursi, on charges of having supplied Qatar with classified documents.

Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences. His opinion is not binding but is usually respected by courts.

Qatar was a main backer of Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement while he was in power between 2012 and July 2013, when the military overthrew and detained him.

He has since been sentenced to death, life in prison and 20 years in three separate trials.