The sentencing of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison is meant to test world reactions and harsher penalties will follow if the international community does not object, a senior Muslim Brotherhood figure said on 21 April.

"There are four cases and the charges in all four cases could lead to death penalty. What I expected for this particular case today, was to... what exactly happened, was to give a harsh jail sentence in order to measure the reaction of the international community and the world on this farce," Amr Darrag, a former minister under Morsi, said.

"If, as they expect, the international community would just issue some statements and just watch, I believe they would be encouraged for the coming other cases to give harsher sentences, which I believe would be death sentence."

A senior leader said the Muslim Brotherhood had brought in many new leaders and will remain a powerful force following Morsi's sentencing. Darrag confirmed the group was not a "one-man show".

He said: "The Brotherhood is an establishment, it's not a one-man show. Yes, many people, we are talking about tens of thousands of Egyptians including Muslim Brotherhood leaders are in jail, thousands were also killed but this actually on the other hand led to a major renewal or replacement of many of the leaders on all levels of the Brotherhood with a big element of youth being there.

"We have at least a percentage of 60 to 70%, percentage of renewal within the leadership in the Brotherhood inside Egypt and this is shown by the powerful presence, the demonstrations, the statements that are being issued and the main leadership of the revolution of course is still inEgypt including the Brotherhood."

State news agency Mena quoted a security source on 20 April saying Morsi was taken by helicopter back to Borg al-Arab prison near Alexandria, where he has been held for more than a year.

Morsi faces charges in four other cases including leaking secrets to Qatar, conspiring with Palestinian militant group Hamas to destabilise Egypt and organising a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

After toppling Morsi following mass protests against his rule, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi proceeded to crush the Brotherhood, which he says is part of a terrorist network that poses an existential threat to the Arab and Western worlds.