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Egyptian court sentences former President Mohammed Morsi to death

  • FILE - In this May 8, 2014 file photo, Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sits in a defendant cage in the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death, Saturday, May 16, 2015,  over  a 2011 mass prison break.. (AP Photo/Tarek el-Gabbas, File)

    FILE - In this May 8, 2014 file photo, Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sits in a defendant cage in the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death, Saturday, May 16, 2015, over a 2011 mass prison break.. (AP Photo/Tarek el-Gabbas, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Ahmed Omar)

    Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Ahmed Omar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Egyptian Judge Shaaban el-Shami sentences ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Ahmed Almalky)

    Egyptian Judge Shaaban el-Shami sentences ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Ahmed Almalky)  (The Associated Press)

An Egyptian court has sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death.

The verdict was announced Saturday in Cairo.

As is customary in passing capital punishment, Judge Shaaban el-Shami referred his death sentence on Morsi and more than 20 others to the nation's top Muslim theologian, or mufti, for his non-binding opinion.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was ousted by the military in July 2013 following days of mass street protests by Egyptians demanding that he be removed because of his divisive policies.

The ousted leader already is serving a 20-year sentence following his conviction on April 21 on charges linked to the killing of protesters outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.