Morsi supporters sentenced to 17 years, Egypt-Russia landmark meetings continue
An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced 12 Morsi supporters to 17 years in prison each on charges that they attacked the Sunni Islamic University, al-Azhar, according to the Associated Press.
The court ruled and convicted the 12 for "gathering to influence authorities and impede implementation of the law," in addition to thuggery, assault, sabotage and other charges.
The ruling follows events on October 30 where pro-Morsi supporters protested near al-Azhar university, where some allegedly threw chunks of marble at one of the buildings and "verbally insulted the grand imam."
The court further set bail for each defendant at 64,000 Egyptian pounds ($9,000) pending an appeal. It is not yet clear if the pro-Morsi defendants will appeal the case, however.
In related news from Egypt, Russian foreign and defense ministers arrived in Cairo Wednesday to meet with government officials in a "landmark [2-day] visit" to revive ties between the two countries, according to Al-Arabiya.
The visit comes only a month after Egypt's tense relationship with the United States escalated over the latter country's decision to suspend $260 million worth of military aid to Cairo. In response, Egypt said that it would "[begin to pursue] a more 'balanced' international foreign policy."
In Cairo, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with their Egyptian counterparts Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.
Ties between Russia and Egypt, however, have already been somewhat renewed as reflected in Russia's decision to send a warship, the Varyag missile cruiser, to the port of Alexandria earlier this month.
According to media reports, Egypt may be seeking to purchase $4 billion worth of Russian weapons.
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