Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi dies in court
Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi died on Monday while making a speech in court, Egyptian state television reported.
The 67-year-old, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, won Egypt’s first-ever democratic elections in 2012. His time in office was cut short when he was deposed in a military coup the following year, paving the way for current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take power.
"He was speaking before the judge for 20 minutes then became very animated and fainted. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he later died," a judicial source told AFP.
Morsi was being tried on a number of charges, including collaboration with the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese group Hizballah.
The charges were widely seen as trumped-up and politicised. Egypt's current government has contacts with Hamas and mediate between them and Israel.
Egypt's Nile News TV said that Morsi’s "body has been transferred to a hospital and necessary procedures are under way".
Since Sisi took control after ousting Morsi, Egyptian authorities have carried out a far-reaching crackdown on dissidents and Muslim Brotherhood members.
Egypt's courts have sentenced to death or lengthy jail terms hundreds of people after speedy mass trials, including Morsi and several leaders of his Brotherhood movement.
Many have appealed and won retrials but 26 executions have been carried out.
The Brotherhood was outlawed and branded a terrorist organisation in December 2013, just months after Morsi was removed from power.