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Egypt court gives 8 Islamists life sentences

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CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie and seven others to life in prison Saturday on charges of planning riots, murder and sabotage, state news agency MENA reported.

The case stems from violence that took place last summer after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, when fighting killed 10 people and injured 20.

Presiding judge Mohammed Nagi Shehata also sentenced six Islamists to death in absentia. Under Egyptian law, they will face a retrial once in custody.

Prosecutors charged the defendants with using force and carrying weapons while gathering in several marches around the Istiqama mosque in Giza, Cairo's twin city. They also were charged with vandalizing public property, setting two security installations on fire and terrorizing citizens.

After Morsi was overthrown, authorities launched a sweeping crackdown on his supporters, killing hundreds of people and detaining tens of thousands, including many senior Brotherhood members. The government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group late last year, though the group says it does not use violence to advance its goals.

Badie has been sentenced to death and to life in prison in two other cases but can still appeal.

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