Eleven defendants including top figures from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group received life sentences on Wednesday in the case dubbed as “espionage with Hamas”.
Among the defendants are senior Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagy, Essam El-Erian, and Mohamed Badie, who were accused of espionage with the Gaza-based militant group.
Ten defendants were handed 10 years imprisonment, another two defendants received seven years. The court also acquitted six defendants from any charges.
Meanwhile, the court has decided to drop all charges against former president Mohamed Morsi who died on 17 June in one of the case’s court sessions.
Relations between Egypt and Hamas have been suffering since the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and the Egyptian media accused Hamas of supporting the Brotherhood, and launching terrorist operations in Egypt.
However, after 2015, relations have improved. In 2017, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement at the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate’s headquarters in Cairo, and the two factions agreed to proceed with further meetings to plan for presidential and legislative elections.