Former leader of Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef

Former leader of Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef”

The authorities have linked many of those fans to political groups, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which has seen thousands of its members jailed or prosecuted over terrorism charges.

The former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef passed away on Friday afternoon inside the Qasr El Einy hospital in Cairo.

After Akef resigned from the post in 2010, he was replaced by Mohamed Badie, the group's current leader, who has remained in prison in Egypt since that country's 2013 military coup. After leading its student section, the former physical education instructor joined the group's Guidance Bureau in the 1980s before being elected supreme guide in 2004, at the age of 76.

In 2005, under Akef's leadership, the Brotherhood won 20 percent of the seats in Egypt's parliamentary elections.

The Brotherhood rose to power in elections following the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Akef was born on July 12, 1928, the same year the Muslim Brotherhood was founded. For him, Israel was "a cancer to root out" and the Holocaust a "myth". Mr. Akef was imprisoned from 1954 until 1974.

The group was accused of a failed assassination attempt against President Gamal Abdel Nasser, setting the stage for a heavy crackdown.

The pair, and a dozen others given between two and 10 years, were responsible for the deaths of at least 20 fans as well as destruction of public and private property and possession of explosives, said the North Cairo Criminal Court.

Ten months before his death, Akef had been transferred from jail to the hospital in Cairo for cancer treatment, Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP.

The Court of Cassation overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial, but left him behind bars again.

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