CAIRO, Sept. 16, 2017 - The file picture taken on June 18, 2016 shows Egyptian ousted president Mohamed Morsi in the defendants' cage during his trial in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court on Sept. 16, .... Image Source: Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa/IANS

Cairo, Jan 10 : An Egyptian court on Tuesday handed 268 supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi up to 25-year jail terms over a violent pro-Morsi sit-in following his removal in July 2013.

Giza Criminal Court sentenced 23 defendants to 25 years in prison, 223 to 15 years and 22 to three years, ordering them to pay altogether a fine of more than $2.1 million for the damages they reportedly caused to the surrounding zoo, public park and college building during their 45-day sit-in.

The verdicts are still appealable before a higher court, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, the court acquitted 109 defendants and cancelled the case for two others.

The public prosecution has already excluded 488 other defendants from the case due to lack of evidence.

The prosecution accused the defendants of illegal gathering, undermining security and social peace, blocking traffic, occupying and damaging government buildings, using arms and committing murder during the sit-in.

Thousands of supporters of Morsi and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group held two massive sit-ins in Cairo and Giza that started a couple of days before his removal by the military in early July 2013 in response to mass protests against Morsi's one-year rule.

The security dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in mid-August 2013 left hundreds dead and thousands arrested.

Following Morsi's ouster, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief then, declared a war against terrorism in the country and Morsi's Brotherhood group was later designated by the state as a terrorist organisation.

Since then, Egypt has been suffering terrorist activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in restive North Sinai province northeastern Cairo and focused on targeting security forces before they gradually extended to other provinces and started to target dozens of the Coptic minority with church bombings.

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