Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi has collapsed during a court session and died, state TV and his family said.said.
Morsi was democratically elected in 2012 after the 2011 Arab Spring saw the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
A top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation which has now been outlawed, he was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against this rule.
He had been serving a seven-year sentence for allegedly falsifying his candidacy application for the 2012 presidential race.
Monday’s session was part of a retrial, being held inside Cairo’s Tura Prison, on charges of espionage with the Palestinian Hamas militant group.
Morsi’s son Ahmed confirmed the death of his father in a Facebook post.
Mohammed Sudan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, 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 a glass cage (during trials). No-one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn’t received any visits for a months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn’t get his medicine. This is premeditated murder. This is slow death.”
The judicial official said Morsi had asked to speak to the court during the session.
The judge permitted it, and Morsi gave a speech saying he had “many secrets” that, if he told them, he would be released, but he added that he was not telling them because it would harm Egypt’s national security.
Morsi 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-Sissi, ousted Morsi after massive protests against the Brotherhood’s domination of power.
El-Sissi was subsequently elected president and has waged a massive crackdown on Islamists and other opponents since.
Since Morsi’s ousting, Egypt’s government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and largely crushed it with a heavy crackdown.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians have been arrested since 2013, mainly Islamists but also secular activists who were behind the 2011 uprising.