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Egyptian court orders retrial of Muslim Brotherhood leader

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court has ordered a retrial of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohamed Badie and other senior figures from the banned group starting on Oct. 7, judicial sources and state news agency MENA said on Sunday.

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The retrial relates to a case in which Badie and 13 others were handed life sentences in 2015 over violence between Brotherhood supporters and opponents near the group’s headquarters in the days before and after Mohamed Mursi was deposed as president.

Four others were sentenced to death in the same ruling.

Badie has been handed multiple death sentences and life prison terms in a series of trials since Egypt’s military ousted Mursi, also of the Brotherhood, in July 2013.

The new charges for senior figures include “participating in the incitement and assistance ... in beating of protesters” in exchange for money and supplying weapons.

Two other defendants were charged with aggravated battery leading to deaths or disfigurement and possession of weapons, MENA reported.

It did not explain why the charges were modified but according to Egyptian law charges can be altered if new evidence arises.

The retrial ordered by the Cairo Criminal Court affects only those in custody and not those defendants who were tried in absentia.

Khairat al-Shater, another senior Brotherhood figure who was widely seen as one of the group’s chief strategists, is also among those to be retried, according to the state news agency.

After Mursi’s ouster, Egypt cracked down on its oldest and most organized Islamist movement, killing hundreds of its supporters during the violent dispersal of a sit-in, throwing thousands of its supporters in jail and labeling the group a terrorist organization. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement and denies links to attacks by Islamist militants.

Reporting by Haitham Ahmed; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Aidan Lewis, Raissa Kasolowsky, Adrian Croft and Peter Graff