Egypt's Morsi appeals protesters jail sentence: lawyer

By AFP
Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi stands behind bars during his trial in Cairo on June 16, 2015.  By Khaled Desouki (AFP/File)
Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi stands behind bars during his trial in Cairo on June 16, 2015. By Khaled Desouki (AFP/File)

Cairo (AFP) - Lawyers for Egypt's deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on Thursday appealed his sentencing to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his mandate, one said.

Morsi, who was ousted by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013, was convicted in April over the protest outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.

He was accused of ordering violence to be used against protesters to disperse them.

"We had to appeal before the time available to do so expired," defence lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP.

He said he had submitted the request "in his capacity as legal representative of Mr Morsi".

Abdel Maqsud said he had not been able to consult his client in advance, but did say that Morsi "refuses to appeal," as he considers himself still to be president and rejects the legitimacy of his judges.

On Tuesday, a court upheld a death sentence against Morsi for plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the country's 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

It also sentenced Egypt's first democratically elected president to life in prison on charges of spying for the Palestinian Hamas movement, Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah and Iran.

The army overthrew Morsi after mass protests calling for an end to his divisive one-year rule.

Sisi has since overseen a sweeping crackdown on Morsi's supporters, with hundreds of Islamists killed and more than 40,000 in custody, according to Human Rights Watch.

Hundreds of people have also been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials described by the United Nations as "unprecedented in recent history".

However, dozens of those penalties have been annulled, as death sentences are rarely carried out in Egypt.

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