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An Egyptian court on Tuesday confirmed the death sentence of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi over the mass 2011 prison break that eventually brought him to power, making him the first leader in Egypt's modern history to potentially face execution.
 
While this is the first death sentence for Morsi, courts have handed out hundreds of similar sentences against Islamists in mass trials since his 2013 overthrow and a mass crackdown on dissent in Egypt.

The ruling, which will be automatically reviewed by Egypt's highest appeals court, brought no immediate outcry on the streets as thousands remain imprisoned, though the country faces threats from Islamic extremists, including an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

It is not clear if Morsi will be executed. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the military's ouster of Morsi, repeatedly has defended the independence of the judiciary, though their mass rulings have faced international criticism.

Meanwhile, former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in Egypt's 2011 revolt and detained since, has seen a number of the cases against him dropped. Mubarak now only faces a November retrial on charges over the killings of protesters after initially receiving a life sentence.


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