Concise News reports that Morsi, 67, was in court when he suddenly collapsed and then died, according to state television.
An Egyptian judicial official told the Associated Press that Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during sessions and warning that he had “many secrets” he could reveal before collapsing minutes later.
Morsi, a top figure in Egypt’s largest Islamist group – the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – was elected president in 2012 in the country’s first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
But the military ousted Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood nationwide in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many other group leaders.
He had been serving a seven-year prison sentence for falsifying his candidacy application for the 2012 presidential race, according to Reuters. Monday’s session was part of a retrial, being held inside Cairo’s Tura Prison, on charges of espionage with the Palestinian Hamas militant group.
Morsi had a history of health issues, including diabetes and liver-kidney disease.
Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt’s government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and largely crushed it with a heavy crackdown. Tens of thousands of Egyptians have been arrested since 2013, mainly Islamists but secular activists who were behind the 2011 uprising.
The 67-year-old had been sentenced to 20 years after being convicted of ordering Brotherhood members to break up a protest against him, resulting in deaths. An earlier death sentence was overturned but multiple cases are still pending.
Morsi was held in a special wing in the sprawling Tora detention complex nicknamed Scorpion Prison. Rights groups say its poor conditions fall far below Egyptian and international standards.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his condolences to the family of Morsi.
Speaking to the reporters in Istanbul, Erdogan says current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew democratically-elected Morsi, executing 50 other Egyptians and putting the democracy aside.
“Unfortunately, the incident took place in the courtroom. I, first of all, I wish God’s mercy for our martyred brother Morsi,” Erdogan says.
“The West has always been silent in the face of these executions by Sisi. The EU member states forbidding execution, unfortunately, accepted an invitation by this murderer Sisi to attend a meeting in Egypt,” Erdogan says, describing the EU states as “hypocrites”.
Erdogan offered condolences to the family of Morsi and the Egyptian people.