Cairo – An Egyptian court sentenced to death on Sunday hardline cleric Wagdi Ghoneim on charges of establishing and leading a terrorist cell.
Ghoneim, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, was sentenced in absentia. He currently lives in Turkey and is an outspoken supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, dismissed Sunday’s ruling, saying he had not been in Egypt since 2001.
The court ruling said that he formed the terror cell in 2013 after Morsi’s ouster.
Ghoneim left Egypt 16 years ago and has resided in Bahrain, Sudan, South Africa, Sweden, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. He was also forced to leave England and was barred from entering it again after he was accused of inciting terrorism.
Egypt has waged a sweeping crackdown against Morsi’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, jailing thousands and killing hundreds in street clashes in the months following his 2013 overthrow.
Ghoneim supports the Brotherhood, but espouses to hardline views that are dismissed by more moderate members of the group, such as a prohibition on celebrating Christmas with Christians.
If he returns to Egypt, he would be retried on the same charges.
Two other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdullah Hisham Mahmoud Hussein and Abdullah Eid Ammar Fayyad, were sentenced to death as well.