Mohamed Morsi
Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is seen behind bars during his trial at a court in Cairo May 8, 2014.Reuters

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi escaped the death sentence in his first trial on Tuesday on charges of inciting murder of protesters in 2012 when he was still in power.

He has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after he and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were found guilty of intimidation. . 

Morsi was the first freely elected president of Egypt, who came to power in June 2012 after the 2011 Arab uprising, but was ousted a year later. 

Since then, the al-Sisi regime has cracked down heavily on Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that Morsi led. 

In the first of several trials, Morsi has been accused of inciting Muslim Brotherhood supporters into killing a journalist and opposition protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012.

Massive protests had broken out against Morsi months into his stint as President, with Egyptians accusing him of cornering excessive power. 

As Morsi attempted to quell the protests by pitting his own supporters against the protesters, violent clashes ensured resulting in several casualties, including supporters of Muslim Brotherhood. 

Even though Morsi escaped the noose in his first trial, he could be sentenced to death in two of the other five trials, which include charges of espionage and terror. 

Two years after he was ousted by the army, Morsi's fate seems bleak under the current dispensation of army chief and president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the trials. 

""The coup commander is exploiting the judiciary as a weapon in the battle against popular will and the democratic and revolutionary legitimacy represented by President Mohamed Morsi," it said in a statement, according to AFP. 

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