Egyptian military court issues 7 preliminary death sentences in 2015 assassination of a police colonel

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 31 Dec 2017

Police Colonel Wael Tahoun (Photo: Facebook)

A North Cairo military court issued preliminary death sentences to seven people on Sunday over the 2015 assassination of police Colonel Wael Tahoun in Helmiyat El-Zeitoun, east Cairo.

The court’s preliminary verdict is scheduled to be referred to the country’s grand mufti for a consultative non-binding opinion, as per Egypt’s penal code.

The court will issue its final verdict on 17 January.

The sentencing applied to four defendants in presence and three in absentia.

The case, which includes a total of 52 defendants, dates back to the April 2015 attack in which Tahoun was gunned down in a car next to his house. Another policeman and one civilian were also killed.

Tahoun was serving at the public security department of the ministry of interior at the time of his assasination. He had previously served as the commander of the Matariya police station in east Cairo.

The list of defendants in the case include Youssef Al-Qaradawy, the spiritual leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ghozlan, a member of the MB guidance bureau, and Abdel-Rahman Al-Bar, the Muslim Brotherhood's mufti.

The defendants are facing charges of joining an illegal group which calls for the suspension of law and constitution, and obstructing state institutions from carrying out their duties, and attacking personal freedoms and rights of citizens.

The defendants are also accused of inciting the murder of Tahoun and two others, destroying public and private properties, as well as committing hostile actions.

Authorities have repeatedly accused the Brotherhood of being behind violent incidents and terrorist attacks since the ouster of president Morsi in 2013.

The government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in late 2013.

Many of the Brotherhood’s leaders, including Morsi and the group's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, have been facing various criminal and espionage trials.

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