Moqattam rock fall defendants have sentences reduced
Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Sep 2014
One-hundred and nineteen people died and 55 were injured when eight huge boulders fell on the Dweiqa area of Moqattam in 2008

The sentences of five people convicted of involvement in the deaths of over 100 people in a rock fall in Moqattam in 2008 have had their sentences reduced at a retrial.

The local council employees – including the mayor, housing department head, two engineers and the crisis manager – were charged with inadvertently causing the manslaughter of 119 people and wounding 55 others.

The tragedy took place in the summer of 2008, when eight huge boulders fell on Dweiqa in Moqattam, a slum area in eastern Cairo.

The defendants were handed five-year jail terms, which were reduced to one year on appeal.

The Court of Cassation ordered a retrial, in which the defendants had their sentences reduced to one year.

The rock fall caused popular uproar against then housing minister Ahmed El-Maghraby and other state officials, who were accused of failing to prevent the widely predicted accident.

El-Maghraby was tried on separate charges of corruption and money profiteering, but was released in 2013.

State negligence, corruption in governmental institutions and close relationships between businessmen and state officials were some of the pillars of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a popular revolt in January 2011.