CAIRO – A criminal court in Egypt has sentenced an ultraconservative Islamist who is an ally of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to seven years in prison after convicting him of forging official documents to conceal that his mother was a U.S. citizen.
Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, a lawyer turned TV preacher, had submitted the forged documents to the elections commission in 2012 in a bid to run for president. He was disqualified after allegations surfaced that his mother had U.S. citizenship, in violation of a law that bars anyone whose parents hold any other nationality from running.
Abu-Ismail was arrested days after Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013 following mass protests. Authorities since have conducted a sweeping crackdown on Morsi supporters and allies, detaining thousands, including Morsi.