The Dokki Misdemeanour Court sentenced on Monday leading figure in Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya Assem Abdel Maged to three years in prison after being charged of spreading false news and inciting violence.
He was sentenced in absentia as the prosecution accused him of inciting violence against the state and its institutions.
He was one of the most vocal Islamists that threatened that violence might take place if former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi is not reinstated in office.
Months before the ouster of Morsi, Abdel Maged resigned from Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s shura council, saying that he will focus on street mobilisation.
The senior member of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya fled Egypt to Qatar shortly following Morsi’s ouster, and has been interviewed on Al-Jazeera from Doha. Abdel Maged has also been broadcasting a programme called “Misr Islamiya” for the Turkey-based Rabaa TV channel that was launched amidst a media crackdown by the Egyptian government.
An Egyptian court previously froze Abdel Maged’s assets, and he faces a number of charges including inciting violence, terrorism, and murder, as well as establishing, funding, and arming a gang to assault citizens.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January 2015 on charges of forming a gang and killing three protesters in Assiut in 2013.
In January 2014, the Egyptian government made formal requests to Qatar to hand over Abdel Maged, after the office of the general prosecutor specifically called upon Interpol to arrest him.
However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said at the time that the Qatari government had neither complied to nor declined the request to handover Abdel Maged.
Abdel Maged was one of the Jihadists’ main leaders in the 1970s, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being charged of participating in the assassination of former president Anwar Al-Sadat.
In 2006, he was freed from prison, and from then onwards, he participated in the everyday activities of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, including charity and societal services for the poor. The group became politicised and formed a political party after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya was one of the main Islamist groups in the 1970s which was allowed by the Sadat regime to practise politics and proselytising to counter the rise of the secular leftist and communist student wave.