Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in 2013, has died in court, state TV says.
He reportedly fainted after a court session where he was facing espionage charges and subsequently died. He was 67.
Morsi was overthrown following mass protests a year after he took office as the country’s first democratically elected leader.
About Mohamed Morsi
He was an Egyptian politician who served as the fifth President of Egypt, from 30 June 2012 to 3 July 2013, when General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed Morsi from office in the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état after the June 2013 Egyptian protests.
As president, Morsi issued a temporary constitutional declaration in late November that in effect granted him unlimited powers and the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts as a pre-emptive move against the expected dissolution of the second constituent assembly by the Mubarak-era judges.
The new constitution that was then hastily finalised by the Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly, presented to the president, and scheduled for a referendum, before the Supreme Constitutional Court could rule on the constitutionality of the assembly, was described by independent press agencies not aligned with the regime as an “Islamist coup”.
These issues, along with complaints of prosecutions of journalists and attacks on nonviolent demonstrators, led to the 2012 Egyptian protests. As part of a compromise, Morsi rescinded the decrees.
In the referendum he held on the new constitution it was approved by approximately two thirds of voters.
In response to the events, Morsi was given a 48-hour ultimatum by the military to meet their demands and to resolve political differences, or else they would intervene by “implementing their own road map” for the country.
He was unseated on 3 July by a military coup council consisting of Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Coptic Pope Tawadros II.
The military suspended the constitution and appointed the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour as the interim-president.
The Muslim Brotherhood protested against the military coup, but the pro-Morsi protests were crushed in the August 2013 Rabaa massacre in which at least 817 civilians were killed. Opposition leader Elbaradei quit in protest of the massacre.
Since his overthrow, Egyptian prosecutors have charged Morsi with various crimes and sought the death penalty, a move denounced by Amnesty International as “a charade based on null and void procedures.” His death sentence was overturned in November 2016 and a retrial ordered. According to Egyptian state media, Morsi died during a court hearing on 17 June 2019.