CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood leader and radical Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim was today sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court for setting up a terror group after the 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Ghoneim, who now lives in Turkey, and two others were sentenced to death by the Cairo criminal court after they were found guilty of establishing an illegal cell from 2003 to 2015 that obstructed the Constitution and state institutions, assaulted citizens and incited violence against security forces.
Five others were sentenced to life in prison, two of them in absentia.
Ghoneim, 66, an outspoken supporter of Morsi, dismissed the ruling, saying he had not been in Egypt since 2001.
Ghoneim, known for making controversial remarks about Copts in Egypt, campaigned against the military-led ouster of Morsi in 2013.
The radical preacher left the country after Morsi's ouster when the authorities launched a crackdown against supporters of the Islamist president.
Earlier this month, the Cairo Criminal Court referred the case's document to the Grand Mufti, who is according to the Egyptian law must review all death sentences. However, the Grand Mufti's decision is not binding. The final verdict of the death sentence was issued today.
Ghoneim faced trial in other cases alongside Morsi, including incidents of violence outside the Presidential Palace on December 5, 2012.
Ghoneim is known for making controversial remarks about Copts on TV channels. In March this year, Ghoneim was sentenced by a Cairo misdemeanours court to five years in prison on charges of incitement against Copts.
Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of Morsi supporters to death since his overthrow.