The Cairo Criminal Court has sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed El-Beltagy to one year in prison for obstructing court proceedings. The former MP was accused of causing a disturbance during the court's hearing of the defence argument in a case in which he and another 738 Muslim Brotherhood members are the defendants.
The movement's General Guide, Mohammed Badie, is among those listed as defendants in the case, as are senior officials Issam El-Erian, Issam Mageed, Abdul Rahman Al-Barr, Safwat Hijazi, Usama Yassin, Issam Sultan, Basem Odeh, Wagdy Ghoneim and Osama Morsi, the son of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
The prosecution accuses the defendants of numerous crimes, including the organisation of and participation in an "armed gathering" in Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, restricting people's freedom of movement, and the "premeditated murder" of citizens and police officers. The Egyptian army under the command of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi broke up the public demonstration in the Square in August 2013, killing almost 4,000 people. The massacre took place just weeks after the military coup which brought Al-Sisi to power in Egypt.