A court in Egypt has adjourned the pronouncement of its verdict in the trial of the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on charges of endangering national security by leaking state secrets to Qatar.
On Saturday, the Cairo criminal court postponed the hearing of Morsi on charges of espionage and leaking classified documents to the Qatari intelligence and Aljazeera news network to June 18.
The court also handed down preliminary death sentence to six of other 10 Muslim Brotherhood defendants. Three of those accused are being tried in absentia.
Morsi and his co-defendants can appeal in front of the appellate court.
The documents that the court accuses Morsi of leaking to Qatar allegedly include information on Egypt’s army, military dispositions and armaments, as well as additional information on the country’s domestic and foreign policies.
Among the defendants are the former head of Morsi’s office, Ahmed Abdel-Ati, and secretary Ameen al-Serafi, along with journalists from Arabic-language Aljazeera news network and Muslim Brotherhood’s Misr 25 satellite channel
In September 2014, Attorney General Hesham Barakat ordered the defendants to be referred to the court following investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution.
Morsi has already been sentenced in three separate trials to death, a life term and 20 years in prison.
The ousted Egyptian president together with 105 of his supporters were sentenced to death in May 2015 for a mass prison break in 2011 during the country’s popular uprising, which led to the overthrow of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.
He has already appealed a 20-year prison term handed down to him on April last year on charges of involvement in the arrests and torture of protesters during his one-year rule, which came to an end by a military coup led by the former army chief and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.
The Egyptian government has been cracking down on opposition since former president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup led by Sisi, the then military chief, in July 2013.
Sisi has been accused of leading the suppression of Morsi’s supporters; hundreds of them have been killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces over the past couple of years.
Rights groups say the army’s crackdown on the supporters of Morsi has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.