Former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to life in prison for espionage.
Ex-President Mohamed Morsi was accused of spying on behalf of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militants Hezbollah and Iran.
The court is yet to decide on whether to uphold death sentences given to Mohamed Morsi and 100 others over a mass prison break in 2011.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have described the charges against him as “farcical”.
The former leader was deposed in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule and is already serving a 20-year jail term for ordering the arrest and torture of demonstrators.
The judge said on June 16 that the Muslim Brotherhood “collaborated with Palestinian Hamas to infiltrate Egypt’s eastern borders and attack prisons”, state TV reported.
Mohamed Morsi was given life, while 16 other Muslim Brotherhood members – including leader Khairat al-Shater – were sentenced to death on charges of delivering secret documents abroad between 2005 and 2013.
In Egypt, a life sentence is 25 years in jail.
A final ruling on Mohamed Morsi’s death sentence for the 2011 prison break is expected after a court recess. It has been awaiting the opinion of Egypt’s highest religious figure, the Grand Mufti.
China’s former Ministry of Public Security Zhou Yongkang has been jailed for life after being found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and “intentionally disclosing national secrets”, Xinhua news agency reports.
Zhou Yongkang – the most senior politician to face corruption charges under Communist rule.
Until his retirement in 2012, Zhou Yongkang was one of China’s most powerful men.
Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation one year later as part of President Xi Jinping’s major anti-corruption campaign.
State TV showed a clip of Zhou Yongkang, 72, pleading guilty at a closed-door trial in the northern city of Tianjin. When responding to the judge, he said he would not launch an appeal.
Zhou Yongkang said: “I’ve realized the harm I’ve caused to the party and the people. I plead guilty and I regret my crimes.”
He was tried behind closed doors on May 22 because the case involved state secrets, Xinhua agency reports. There was no public announcement until the conviction was reported on June 11.
In a breakdown of the ruling, Xinhua reports that Zhou Yongkang received a life sentence for accepting bribes worth 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), seven years for abuse of power and four years for “deliberately releasing state secrets”.
All political rights have been stripped and his property confiscated, the news agency added.
Zhou Yongkang was charged in April, nine months after a formal investigation was announced.
He has since been expelled from the Communist Party.
Zhou Yongkang was once head of the Ministry of Public Security, as well as a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.
It is the first time such a senior Chinese figure has been convicted of corruption since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.
President Xi Jinping vowed to end endemic corruption when he came to power in 2012.
Since then, a number of Zhou Yongkang’s former associates from his time working in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province have been investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.
The Xinhua report did not refer to Bo Xilai, a former protégé of Zhou Yongkang’s and former Chongqing Communist Party chief, who is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Jodi Arias has suggested on Twitter that she may consider a plea deal to avoid a death sentence rather than appeal her guilty verdict in Travis Alexander case.
In a tweet posted this weekend, convicted murderer Jodi Arias suggested she had not yet made up her mind on which option to go for.
Jodi Arias’ Twitter account, managed on her behalf by friends, posted on Saturday the following two messages: “Let’s clear up any confusion. Anyone asking 4 donation$ right now on my behalf 4 my appeals is not legit.”
This was quickly followed by another stating: “I’m not currently accepting donations 4 appeals. Just don’t know yet if I will plea or appeal.”
Last week a jury failed to decide upon a sentence for Jodi Arias’ crimes; she will either receive a life sentence or she could be sentenced to death for the murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.
An earlier trial heard how Jodi Arias, 32, sta**ed and sla**ed Travis Alexander nearly 30 times, and shot him in the forehead. She then left his body in his shower where friends found him about five days later.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said last month he would have an “ethical obligation” to consider a plea deal if the defense offered one, according to ABC News.
Appearing in court for the first time since the Arizona jury was unable to decide her sentence for murder, Jodi Arias last week swapped her prim, collared shirts and business-like attire that she sported throughout her lengthy murder trial for the standard issue stripes now that she is behind bars.
The procedural hearing lacked the sizzle of the five-month trial, which concluded in May, and attracted a global following and had spectators waiting in line in the middle of the night to get a coveted seat in the courtroom.
Last Thursday, the courtroom was about two-thirds full, the hearing was not televised, and there were no arguments in open court.
Jodi Arias may consider a plea deal to avoid a death sentence in Travis Alexander case
That verdict will come even later than previously expected, as the judge ruled today that the next hearing is scheduled for July 18.
Jury selection alone could take weeks, given the difficulty of seating an impartial panel in the high-profile case.
Prosecutors have the option of taking the death penalty off the table, and Stephens would then sentence Jodi Arias to one of two punishments: life in prison or the more unlikely life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years.
If prosecutors do pursue death, a new panel must be seated to determine a sentence.
If another deadlock occurs, the death penalty would automatically be removed, leaving the judge to sentence Jodi Arias to one of the life-in-prison options.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said last week his office continues to prepare for a retrial aimed at securing a death sentence.
He had previously said he is confident an impartial jury can be seated to determine Jodi Arias’ punishment but added that he is open to input from defense lawyers and the victim’s family about possibly scrapping a new trial in favor of a life sentence for Arias.
Meanwhile, after losing motions for mistrials, appeals to higher courts and efforts to quit the case altogether, Jodi Arias’ attorneys tried a new tactic this month, appealing to the court of public opinion while hoping to influence Montgomery’s decision.
“It is solely for them to determine if continuing to pursue a death sentence upon Ms. Arias, who is already facing a mandatory life sentence, is a good and proper use of taxpayer resources,” defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott wrote in a statement provided to The Arizona Republic.
Taxpayers footed the bill for Jodi Arias’ court-appointed attorneys at a cost so far of nearly $1.7 million, a price tag that will only balloon if the case moves forward.
Jodi Arias admitted she killed Travis Alexander, but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her.
Prosecutors argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage after the victim wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.
After murdering Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias left her ex-boyfriend’s body in his shower where friends found him about five days later.
Jodi Arias testified for 18 days during her five-month trial, describing for jurors an abusive childhood, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a shocking relationship with Travis Alexander, and her contention that he had grown physically abusive.
Members of jury for the Jodi Arias court case were sent home at 4.30 p.m. local time after spending the entire day deliberating whether or not they should sentence the convicted murderer to death or to spend her life in prison.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday the jury returned to the courtroom after deliberating for two and a half hours saying that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision, but that did not sit well with Judge Sherry Stephens.
Sherry Stephens ordered the jurors to go back and talk more until they came to a decision.
The rest of the afternoon was not enough, however, as they were sent home and ordered to return at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
There are three options going forward: they will either decide to sentence 32-year-old Jodi Arias to death, or to sentence her to spend her life in prison with the prospect of parole after 25 years. The third option would be if they fail to unanimously agree on those two sentences, making them a hung jury.
In that case, the judge will be forced to declare a mistrial and a new jury will be picked.
The new jury will not have any power to change her guilty conviction, and they will be solely tasked with determining how Jodi Arias will “pay” for the first degree murder.
The decision follows a trial that has staggered on for five months over the 2008 slaying of Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias’ on-again off-again boyfriend who she killed in his home in 2008. She sta**ed him nearly 30 times, s**t his throat, and shot him.
Even for the most fastidious of court followers who have developed a sense of who Jodi Arias is over the past five months of the trial, her behavior in the past week has been confusing as she gave conflicting statements about her desire thoughts on a possible death sentence.
Immediately after her guilty verdict was handed down two weeks ago, Jodi Arias granted a local news station an interview where she said that she was “in shock” and that she would rather be given the death penalty as opposed to a life sentence in prison.
Members of jury for the Jodi Arias court case were sent home after spending the entire day deliberating whether or not they should sentence her to death or to spend her life in prison
Speaking to the local Fox affiliate KSAZ, Jodi Arias said that she would “prefer to die sooner than later”.
“Longevity runs in my family, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place. I’m pretty healthy, I don’t smoke and I’ll probably live for a long time so that’s not something that I am looking forward to.
“I believe death is the ultimate freedom and I’d rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”
Those comments prompted courthouse officials to order that Jodi Arias be placed in a psychological hold and on suicide watch, which inevitably delayed the second portion of the sentencing- where jurors were forced to decide if the murder was especially aggressive.
During the ensuing testimony, called the aggravation portion of the trial, jurors heard from both sides who were able to call witnesses arguing that she should and shouldn’t be forced to die, respectively.
When she addressed the court in her own defense, Jodi Arias pledged, if allowed to live, to donate her hair to cancer patients and start a prison recycling program.
“I have made many public statements that I would prefer the death penalty to life in prison,” Jodi Arias told jurors.
“In each of those cases, I lacked perspective,” she said.
“Until very recently I could not imagine standing before you all and asking for you to give me life,” she said.
“But as I stand here now I cannot in good conscience ask you to sentence me to death.”
Jodi Arias made the statements as she tried desperately to humanize herself to jurors by sharing childhood photographs, talking about her “red-headed stage” and displaying the drawings she has created while in prison.
She followed up her case with a surprise jailhouse interview on Tuesday where she placed blame on her legal team.
The most emotional portions of the entire trial came last week, when Travis Alexander’s siblings told the court how their lives have been wrecked in the wake of their brother’s brutal murder.
The victim’s brother Stephen Alexander told how he has since been put on several different antidepressants, had to have several hospitalizations for his ulcers, and frequently wakes up in the middle of the night with vivid nightmares.
His sister Samantha told the court that even though she has been a police officer in California for 11 years, the photos of her brother’s crime scene were by far the most gra**ic she has ever seen.
They both said how difficult it was for them to see his murderer in court and on her many television appearances, so the judges’ move to force the jury to a decision deadline may be in light of the victim’s family’s wishes.
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