Egypt sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death, 16 acquitted

By Kyle Johnson,

An Egypt court has sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood and former President Mohammed Morsi supporters to death on Monday, while 16 others were acquitted.

They were all convicted of several charges, such as the murder of a policeman, attacking people and destroying property, reports BBC News. The Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the country now can either approve the sentence or reject it.

The Minya, Egpyt court found the majority of the accused guilty after only two sessions, but there is still a third and final one that will be held at the end of April, giving the 529 sentenced, a chance to appeal.

According to The Associated Press, defendants' lawyers allege that the trial moved so swiftly they were never allowed the chance to properly defend or present evidence for their clients.

BBC correspondent Orla Guerin said that the lawyers for the defendants also said that the judge "veer[ed] away from all legal norms."

Of the 529 sentenced, only 150 actually appeared in court. The rest were convicted while in absentia. Though death sentences are common, they rarely ever actually happen.

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