Egypt Sentences Muslim Brotherhood Leader Mohamed El-Beltagy to One Year for Insulting the Judiciary

Mohamed El-Beltagy
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy, right, stands with other senior figures in a cage in a courthouse on the first day of their trial in Cairo November 4, 2013. Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed El-Beltagy, to one year in prison on Saturday for insulting the judiciary, the first sentence handed to a leader of the organization since it was outlawed last year, security and judicial sources said.

Beltagy is standing trial along with former president Mohamed Mursi and 13 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during unrest in late 2012.

Saturday's sentence was for a separate charge of insulting the judiciary during the hearing after Beltagy accused the prosecution of colluding against Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

"The court has decided to imprison the accused, Mohamed El-Beltagy, for one year on charges of insulting the judiciary," a senior court official said.

The army forced Mursi, the country's first freely-elected president, from power last July following mass protests against his rule. It then launched a crackdown against his organization, arresting thousands on accusations of violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood was labeled a terrorist organization last year and most of its senior leaders are in prison awaiting trial on charges relating to violence and terrorism.