By Ayo Kehinde
Egypt’s former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in 2013, has died after fainting in a courtroom. His death sentence was overturned in November 2016 and a retrial ordered. According to the state media, Morsi died during a court hearing on Monday morning. He was aged 67
According to the Al-Ahram news website, “he was speaking before the judge for 20 minutes then became very animated and fainted. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he later died.”
A former top figure in the now-banned Islamist movement Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi was in court for a hearing on charges of espionage. He was accused of spying for Iran, Qatar and militant groups such as Hamas and plotting terror acts
For a man considered a moderate on ascension to the presidency, even on the platform of the once feared Muslim Brotherhood in coalition with leftist and other radicals who were very active in the big 2011 mass protest that ousted the 30 year-old regime of Hosni Mubarak and his last prime minister that the old brigade put up for the polls, Morsi failed to live up to expectation. He openly became sectional, subscribing to Islamist ideas, and loyal only to the Brotherhood.
By November 2012, the worst fears of many prodemocracy activists and the Tahrir Square protesters was confirmed when he sanctioned a controversial, Islamist-slanted constitution, which he wanted to put to public vote without following legal procedure. Clash between Brotherhood supporters and leftist and liberals took place outside the presidential palace ensued, forcing him to annul the decision. But it was too late. The clashes continued with many protesters hounded gunned won by security forces, until Morsi was ousted in coup d’tat led by Army chief, Abdel Fatah el-Sisi with support from the country’s international friends.
On July 3, 2013 General Sisi ordered his arrest. Ever since then, ex-President Morsi had been in jail, accused of espionage and incitement.
Morsi was overthrown following mass protests a year after he took office as the country’s first democratically elected leader, protest that raised the political temperature of the country, following the unwise decision of his party to change the Constitution to favour theocracy.
He had remained in custody since then.
After his removal from power, Egyptian authorities launched a crackdown on his supporters and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The hearing in the capital, Cairo, was related to charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, according to state television.