An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 prominent figures of the currently-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, including the group’s top chief, to life sentence in jail on charges of spying for foreign organisations.
A life sentence in Egypt is 25 years in jail.
Official news agency MENA reports that among the defendants are the Brotherhood’s guide Mohamed Badie, tycoon businessman Khairat el Shaater, and former Speaker of the Parliament Saad el Katatny.
Vice-Chairman of the group’s Freedom and Justice party, Essam el Eryan, and the party’s General Secretary, Mohamed el Beltagi, are some of the defendants.
Other 17 Brotherhood’s members were handed lengthy jail terms ranging from 7 years to 10 years in prison in the same cases.
Meanwhile, six Islamists were acquitted, while charges against former president Mohamed Morsi were dropped due to his death.
The defendants have been convicted of spying with foreign organisations and leaking classified national security information.
They were also found guilty of working with armed groups inside and outside Egypt with the aim to conduct terrorist operations at home.
Mr Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his Brotherhood group, which was later blacklisted as a terrorist organisation.