President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

Cairo — On Thursday, an Egyptian court sentenced a former adviser to toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi along with 13 other people to life in prison for belonging to an illegal group.

Abdullah Shehata was an economic adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president, who was democratically elected in 2012 following the overthrow of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The next year, Morsi was toppled by the army amid mass protests against his rule.

Shehata and the 13 others sentenced to life terms were accused of weapons possession, belonging to an illegal group and "violating citizens’ freedoms".

The prosecution accused them of creating "special cells" to receive training on how to make sound bombs, the state-run Al-Ahram daily reported. They were planning to cause "a state of instability in the country" by targeting essential infrastructure, including electrical transformers, it said.

Six other people were sentenced to 15 years in prison and another to 10 years over the same case, according to state television.

Morsi’s military ousting, led by current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was followed by a violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed.

Morsi has been sentenced to a total of 45 years in prison over two cases: inciting violence against protesters in late 2012 and spying for Qatar.