Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who was ousted after one year of divisive rule, died after collapsing in court on Monday, the attorney general said. He was 67.

Amnesty International called for an independent probe into the circumstances in which he died, while state TV said his death was due to a cardiac arrest.

Morsi, also the country’s first civilian president, had appeared “animated” during a hearing in the retrial of an espionage case in which he was accused of collaborating with foreign powers and militant groups, judicial and security sources said.

“The court granted him his request to speak for five minutes… He fell to the ground in the cage… and was transported immediately to the hospital. A medical report found… no pulse or breathing,” said the attorney general’s office.

“He arrived at the hospital dead at 4:50 pm exactly and there were no new, visible injuries found on the body.”

One of Morsi’s legal defence team described the moment he received news of his death.

“We heard the banging on the glass cage from the rest of the other inmates and them screaming loudly that Morsi had died,” the lawyer, Osama El Helw, told AFP.

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