Brotherhood leader Akef’s health to be assessed to allow for his release

An Egyptian court ordered that a medical committee be formed to examine former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef after he was diagnosed with cancer while serving a life sentence in prison, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The Turkish news agency quoted a source who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying that the Cairo Criminal Court yesterday adjourned its ruling on a number of defendants who suffered ill health until 3 May and ordered that a medical committee be formed to examine them as a prelude to their possible release.

Akef and other defendants, including the Brotherhood’s Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat Al-Shater, had been sentenced to life for the role they allegedly played in protests held on 30 June 2013 against the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo’s Mokattam neighbourhood where demonstrators called for then President, and Brotherhood member, Mohamed Morsi to step down. Clashes erupted and nine people were killed while 91 others were injured.

Morsi was ousted in a military coup on 3 July 2013.

According to a medical report issued by the Kasr Al-Aini Internal Medicine Hospital and which was presented to the judge by the prosecutors yesterday, Akef was admitted to hospital on 19 January and has been hospitalised ever since after being diagnosed with bile duct cancer.

Akef was not present at yesterday’s session.

Since Morsi’s ousting the Egyptian authorities have designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation and launched an unprecedented crackdown on its leaders, members and followers, thousands of them are now lingering in jail.

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