CAIRO, June 19 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced a leader of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group and 13 of its leading members to death over charges of inciting violence outside a mosque in Giza, state-run Ahram news website reported.
After a seven-hour hearing, the verdict concluded with referring their files to the country's Grand Mufti to optionally get his Islamic opinion before execution. The final verdict, which still can be appealed, will be issued in early August.
Among the defendants were Brother leader Mohamed Badei, senior member Mohamed al-Beltagi, former lawmaker Essam al-Eryan and Brotherhood-oriented preacher Safwat Hegazi.
It's not the first time that Badei has been handed a death sentence. He was also on a list of 683 pro-Brotherhood defendants who received mass death sentences in late April from an Upper Egyptian court over similar charges.
Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely-elected president, by the military last July, the interim leadership has launched a massive security crackdown on his supporters and affiliates, which has left more than 1,000 killed and thousands others arrested.
Morsi is now standing trial over charges including jailbreak, ordering the killing of protesters, spying and insulting the judiciary.
The Egyptian authorities have accused the Brotherhood of being behind a series of attacks and bombings in the country following Morsi's ouster, but the Islamist group has repeatedly denied.