13 sentenced to death over killing of Egyptian policeman in Kerdasa

Saturday 30 Jul 2016

The defendants were sentenced over the killing of a senior police officer during a 2013 raid in Giza

A Giza criminal court sentenced on Saturday 13 people to death in a retrial over the 2013 killing of a senior police officer during a raid on an Islamist stronghold in Giza.

The defendants stood trial over the death of high-ranking police officer Nabil Farag, who was killed in a shootout with militants during a security raid in Giza’s Kerdasa district.

Kerdasa has been known to be a stronghold for supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The defendants faced other charges including the attempted murder of police personnel and the possession of firearms and explosives.

The court said on Saturday that it referred the death sentence against the 13 defendants to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest official interpreter of Islamic law, for his opinion, a judicial source said.

Under Egyptian law, the Mufti is consulted for his religious opinion on verdicts of capital punishment, though his opinion is not binding.

The court set 24 September for the final ruling in the case

The defendants were first sentenced to death in absentia in 2014, and then retried after they were in custody.

Saturday's sentences can still be appealed.

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