Egypt's Clinton-Backed Former President Jailed For 20 years

Deposed former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison today in connection with a crackdown on protesters during demonstrations against his rule in late 2012. Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood has been branded as a terrorist organization by now-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, assumed the Presidency in 2012 after Hosni Mubarak was toppled a year earlier during the Arab Spring. Morsi would himself become the target of mass protests after issuing a decree granting himself special powers — the unrest would ultimately end in the military assuming power in July of 2013 in an infamous (maybe)-coup.

Here's Al Jazeera:

A Cairo court has sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison.

 

Morsi was convicted on Tuesday of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012. The court acquitted the former president of murder charges that could have seen him face the death penalty. 

 

Morsi also faces serious charges in three other cases, including an accusation that he passed intelligence to Qatar.

 

Mohammed Soudan, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and an official within its affiliated Freedom and Justice Party, told Al Jazeera that the trial was a "political farce".

And a bit more from BBC:

It is the first verdict he has received since his ousting and is one of several trials he faces. Morsi was deposed by the army in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule.

 

Since then, the authorities have banned his Muslim Brotherhood movement and arrested thousands of his supporters.

 

Morsi and 14 other Brotherhood figures escaped a more serious charge of inciting the killing of protesters, which could have carried the death sentence.

 

Most of the other defendants were also given 20-year prison sentences. Morsi's legal team have said they will appeal.

 

Morsi's trials

 

This verdict is just one of several Mr Morsi faces. They include:

  • Colluding with foreign militants in a plot to free Islamists in mass prison breaks during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak
  • Espionage and conspiring to commit terrorist acts in Egypt with the Palestinian movement Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards
  • Endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar via the Doha-based Al Jazeera network

Perhaps the best way to sum up how “successful” the US was in terms of foreign policy over the course of the political turmoil is to quote former Obama adviser Vali Nasr, who described the situation as follows in a 2013 interview with the Wall Street Journal

"The Mubarak people are unhappy with the way he was shoved off without a thank you. The military thinks we coddled the Brotherhood and didn't intervene to control them. And the Brotherhood thinks that we never supported them when they needed support, and then gave the green light to the military."

Sounds like par for the US foreign policy course.

Now, with Morsi sentenced to nearly a quarter century behind bars, we thought it as good a time as any to resurrect the following Morsi-era quotes from Hillary Clinton who, like Egypt’s democratically elected former President, just wants what’s best for “everyday” people:

“The United States [strongly supports] the Egyptian people and their democratic transition".

 

"We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people.”

A “democracy” that lasted all of four months before Morsi, in an irony of ironies, granted himself sweeping autocratic powers in the interest of safeguarding the transition to democratic institutions. 

And of course there was this:

The wife of former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi is the latest Muslim Brotherhood “insider” to threaten to expose the special relationship between Morsi and the Obama administration—a relationship the latter insists never existed.

Nagla Mahmoud, Morsi’s wife, is reportedly angry at some statements recently made by Hillary Clinton, including that Morsi was “naïve” and “unfit for Egypt’s presidency,” as reported by Arabic media.

 

In the words of El-Mogaz News, Morsi’s wife “is threatening to expose the special relationship between her husband and Hillary Clinton, after the latter attacked the ousted [president], calling him a simpleton who was unfit for the presidency.

 

Sources close to Nagla confirmed that she has threatened to publish the letters exchanged between Morsi and Hillary.”

 

The report continues by saying that Nagla accuses Hillary of denouncing her former close ally, the Brotherhood’s Morsi, in an effort to foster better relations with his successor, Egypt’s current president, Sisi—even though, as Nagla laments, “he [Morsi] was faithful to the American administration.”