An Egyptian criminal court in the Nile Delta town of Damanhour said it would seek the death penalty for five defendants for vandalising a gas pipeline late last year, leading to several deaths.
Nine people were killed and almost a dozen others injured in a fire in November 2019 in Itay El-Baroud in Beheira governorate that resulted from a gas leak after an attempt to steal gas from a pipeline.
Ten people are standing trial over the accident. They face charges including sabotage, robbery and committing crimes that have led to deaths.
The court on Thursday said it would transfer the cases of five defendants to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, to decide whether they should be sentenced or not.
Under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the Mufti for an opinion that is not legally binding.
The court has set 26 March as the date for its verdict.
The sentences can be appealed before an appeals court.