CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court has sentenced a prominent opposition leader widely expected to run against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in next year’s elections to three months in prison for offending public morals.
Khaled Ali didn’t attend Monday’s trial at the misdemeanor court of Cairo’s Dokki neighborhood, where he was convicted for making an obscene finger gesture.
Ali was ordered to pay 1,000 Egyptian pounds (nearly $57) on bail. The verdict can be appealed but if it stands will bar him from electoral candidacy.
The incident allegedly occurred outside a courthouse in January where Ali and other lawyers had just won a landmark case against the government, blocking its attempts to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The presidency has since ratified the islands’ transfer.