Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who was ousted after one year of divisive rule, died after falling ill during a court hearing on Monday, the attorney general said. He was 67.
Morsi had been “animated” during a hearing in the retrial of an espionage case where he was accused of collaborating with adverse foreign powers and militant groups, judicial and security sources said.
“The court granted him his request to speak for five minutes… He fell to the ground in the cage… and was transported immediately to the hospital. A medical report found… no pulse or breathing,” the office of the attorney general said in a statement.
“He arrived at the hospital dead at 4.50 pm exactly and there were no new, visible injuries found on the body.”
One of Morsi’s defence lawyers described the moment he received news of his death.
“We heard the banging on the glass cage from the rest of the other inmates and them screaming loudly that Morsi had died,” the lawyer, Osama El Helw, told AFP.
“I saw him from afar wheeled out on the stretcher from the courts complex” from Tora, in southern Cairo, said another one of his lawyers, Abdelmoneim Abdel-Maksoud.
“They prevented us from leaving the court for about 15 minutes,” he added, without being able to say which hospital the former president had been transported to.
A judicial source said the former Islamist president had fainted during a break in the court session.
The court officials “had just finished the session for the espionage case and they informed the judge that he had fainted and needed to be transported to a hospital where he later died,” he told AFP.
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