Egypt's court of Cassation overturns death sentence on 36 Morsi supporters

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 11 Feb 2015

Defendants were accused of storming a police station in Upper Egypt and killing a police officer

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie shouts slogans from the defendant's cage during his trial with other leaders of the Brotherhood in a courtroom in Cairo December 11, 2013.(Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Court of Cassation on Wednesday overturned death sentences on 36 Islamists and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, state news agency MENA reported.

The defendants were accused of storming a police station in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, killing a police officer and eight other people soon after the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins in August 2013 .

Only 36 of a total of 183 defendants have successfully appealed the sentences, and a retrial has been ordered as a result.

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie is one of the defendants accused in this case though he is being retried in front of another court. This is due to a request made by his defence for a retrial in Cairo after he was sentenced by the Minya court in absentia.

Only those who appealed were present when the court issued the verdict in June 2014. The rest were tried in absentia, including Badie.

According to Egyptian law, a verdict is reversed if one defendant in a case wins an appeal, defence lawyer Mohamed Toson told Ahram Online.

In March, Minya court sentenced 529 Morsi supporters to death on charges of murdering a police officer. The court later upheld sentences for 37 of them and sentenced the rest to life in jail.

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