Agence France-Presse

A Cairo Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced an adviser to ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi and 14 others to life in prison for plotting attacks on security forces and vital sites.

Abdallah Shehata, an economic adviser to Morsi, and the other defendants were convicted of plotting attacks on security forces and vital sites, including power stations, in order to spread chaos in Egypt after the army’s 2013 overthrow of Morsi following street protests against his rule, state media reported.

Eight of the defendants were tried in absentia, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported.

The rulings were issued by the Court, which also sentenced seven additional people to jail terms ranging from 10 to 15 years in the same case, according to the report.

All the accused were also convicted of belonging to Morsi’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The verdicts can be appealed.

Thousands of the Islamist group’s members and followers have been rounded up and tried in different cases since the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected but divisive president.

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