Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi dies after collapsing in court

The Former Egyptian leader has been buried hours after that with only his family present

Photo: EPA Mohammed Morsi gestures during a trial session on charges of espionage in Cairo, Egypt, 18 June.

Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who rose to office in the country's first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, collapsed in court during a trial and died Monday, state TV and his family said. He has been buried in eastern Cairo hours after the incident with his cause of death remaining unknown.

According to media, the 67-year-old Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during sessions and warning that he had "many secrets" he could reveal. A few minutes afterward, he collapsed in the cage, a official told CBC, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the press.

The cause of death is not yet known. His family and activists had repeatedly raised concerns about his health and the amount of time he was kept in solitary confinement, away from visits by lawyers and family, claiming that this had deteriorated his health. Mohammed Sudan, leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, also described Morsi's death as "premeditated murder," saying that the former president was banned from receiving medicine or visits and there was little information about his health condition.

"He has been placed behind glass cage [during trials]. No one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn't received any visits for months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn't get his medicine. This is premeditated murder. This is slow death," he insisted.

Human rights groups, who had criticised the conditions in which he was kept, have called for an impartial investigation into his death.

Morsi was a longtime senior figure in Egypt's most powerful Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. He was elected in 2012 in the country's first free presidential election, held a year after an Arab Spring uprising ousted Egypt's longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. His Muslim Brotherhood also held a majority in parliament. The military, led by then-Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, ousted then Morsi after massive protests against the Brotherhood's domination of power. El-Sisi was subsequently elected president and has waged a massive crackdown on Islamists and other opponents since.

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