Mohamed Morsi

An Egyptian appeals court has upheld a 20-year sentence for ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The judgement was the first in a ring of trials for the deposed leader.

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The Court also upheld sentences against eight of Morsi’s codefendants, including seven who received the same prison term and one who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a judicial official said.

Morsi had been convicted in April 2015 of involvement in deadly clashes outside the presidential palace during his year in power.

His supporters and protesters had clashed after he issued a decree that placed his decisions beyond judicial review, fueling anger that culminated in mass protests against him in June and July 2013.

The military deposed him on July 3 that year, and he has faced several trials since.

His lawyers are appealing a death sentence in one of his trials, on charges of participating in prison breaks and violence against policemen during the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt’s first freely elected civilian president, Morsi, came to power after Mubarak’s overthrow.

Morsi’s lawyer, Abdelmoneim Abdel Maqsud, said none of the defendants attended Saturday’s court session, with only the lawyers present.

Four other codefendants were initially sentenced in absentia and could not appeal the ruling.

Amnesty International denounced the initial trial as a “travesty of justice”.