Mohammed Morsi dies during trial

Egypt’s former President and Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Morsi, died yesterday after collapsing in a courtroom in Cairo.

Egypt’s public prosecutor said Morsi had a heart attack and was subsequently “transferred to a hospital where he was pronounced dead”. Morsi was elected President in the country’s first free elections in 2012. A year later, he was ousted and detained in a military coup following mass protests against his rule. Morsi was serving a 20-year sentence for convictions related to the killing of protestors in 2012 and a life sentence for espionage but was on trial for insulting the judiciary and terrorism offences.

Morsi was held in solitary confinement and reportedly denied proper treatment for diabetes, hyper tension and liver disease. The Independent reported today that an Independent Review Panel warned last year that without the right medical attention Morsi could die. Crispin Blunt MP who led the Independent Review Panel has called for a “reputable independent international investigation”.

The Muslim Brotherhood said Morsi’s death was a “full-fledged murder” and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Egypt’s “tyrants” for Morsi’s death.

Amos Harel in Haaretz speculates that the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to initiate protests over his death but suspects that President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi will deploy extra security forces to prevent a new outbreak of violence.