Egyptian ex-president dies: mursi collapses in courtroom

Islamist Mursi was Egypt’s first freely elected president – until he was overthrown by the military in 2013. Now he died during a court trial.

Cause of death unknown: Mohammed Mursi in prison (archive photo) Photo: dpa

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi is dead. Egyptian state television reported Monday that he fell unconscious and died during a trial against him. Mursi was 67 years old. The exact cause of death was initially unknown.

The Islamist had come to power in 2012 as the first freely elected president. In the summer of 2013, however, there were mass protests against Mursi. As a result, the military led by current head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew him on July 3.

Mursi belonged to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which is now banned in Egypt. Led by al-Sisi, the government has classified them as a terrorist organization and is pursuing them with a heavy hand.

Mursi was tried several times after his fall, including for killing demonstrators during protests against his rule and for allegedly spying for Qatar. In the process, he received prison sentences of several years.

Mursi succeeded long-term ruler Husni Mubarak as president, who was forced to step down in February 2011 after mass protests. Mursi’s presidency was marked by conflicts with the military, with the judiciary and with the revolutionary youth who had carried the revolt against Mubarak.

Many critics accused Mursi of having ruled too confrontationally. Non-Islamist groups in particular were critical of him and refused to cooperate with him, although many had supported him in 2012 in the runoff election for president.

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