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Egyptian police officer receives reduced 5-year sentence over 37 prisoner deaths

A police officer receives reduced 5-years prison sentence in the retrial of the Abu-Zaabal van prison case

Ahram Online , Reuters , Thursday 13 Aug 2015
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A Qalioubiya misdemeanor court sentenced a police officer to a reduced five years in prison on Thursday in the retrial of the Abu Zaabal prison van case where four policemen faced accusations of involvement in the deaths of 37 prisoners in 2013, state news agency MENA reported.

The other three police officers received a suspended one-year prison sentence.

Police officers Amr Farouq, Ibrahim El-Morsi, Islam Abdel-Fattah and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz were all convicted in the original trial.

Farouq was sentenced to 10-years prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and extreme negligence while the other three officers were handed one-year suspended prison sentences.

On 18 August 2013, the interior ministry said that 37 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi arrested in protests had died of asphyxiation due to teargas and overcrowding while being transferred to Abu Zaabal Prison in Cairo in a police van.

Security forces initially claimed the prisoners had died during an escape attempt. However, prosecution investigators said there had been no escape attempt.

Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in the case in January 2015.

Magdi Salah, a lawyer representing some families of the 37 victims, told Reuters that the policemen would be able to appeal the verdict again and if it is accepted, there would be another, final trial.


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