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Egypt court orders retrial of Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Badie

Brotherhood's spiritual leader has been sentenced to death and prison terms in other cases.

A Cairo court has ordered a retrial of the Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohamed Badie and other senior figures from the group from October 7, judicial sources and state news agency MENA reported.

Badie, the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, has already been sentenced to death and prison terms in other trials since Egypt's military removed President Mohamed Morsi, also a member of the Brotherhood, in July 2013.

According to MENA, the retrial relates to a case in which Badie and 14 others were handed life sentences for incitement to commit murder and attempted murder of anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators near the group's headquarters in June 2013.

Four others were sentenced to death in the February 2015 ruling.

The new charges include premeditated murder, attempted murder, beating to death and possession of unlicensed weapons, MENA reported.

It is not clear why the charges were modified but according to Egyptian law, charges can be altered if new evidence arises.

The retrial, ordered by the Cairo Criminal Court, affects only those in custody and not those defendants who were tried in absentia.

Khairat al-Shater, another senior Brotherhood figure, is also among those to be retried, according to the state news agency.

Mass prosecutions

Earlier this month, an Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 75 people in one of the largest mass trials since 2011.

Hundreds of the group's members and followers have been put on trial and given harsh sentences in multiple cases.

The Brotherhood has been labelled a "terror organisation" by Egyptian authorities. Its supporters have held persistent protests against the military-backed government, often resulting in clashes.

Rights advocates have repeatedly criticised the mass prosecutions, saying they lack guarantees for a fair trial.

The Egyptian government says the country's judiciary operates independently.

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