Egyptian court sentences 12 people to death for Kerdasa killing

El-Sayed Gamal El-Deen , Wednesday 18 Jun 2014

A dozen defendants were given the death penalty for an attack on a Giza police station which left a senior officer dead and 10 others injured

Police officers stand in front of a damaged police station in the village of Kerdasa (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian criminal court sentenced 12 people of ousted Islamist President supporters to death on Wednesday on charges of attacking a police station in the Giza town of Kerdasa and killing a senior police officer, a judicial source said.

Prosecutors had referred 23 of Mohamed Morsi's supporters to the criminal court on charges of killing Major General Nabil Farrag when demonstrators stormed a police station in Kerdasa following the dispersal of sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda in August, 2013.

The defendants were also charged with forming a terrorist group with aims of killing security personnel, funding terrorism, forming an illegal group, sabotaging public property, as well as attempted murder and possession of weapons.

Prosecutors in the trial said the defendants were motivated by jihadist ideology that mandates attacking security forces and Christians.

According to Egyptian law, the verdicts must be referred to the country's Mufti for review and ratification. The defendants' also have the right to appeal.

The assault on Kerdasa police station that killed Farrag and injured 10 other officers was part of a spate of attacks last summer following the violent dispersal of two protest camps in favour of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

In March, southern Egypt's Minya court sentenced 529 of Morsi supporters to death on charges of murdering a police officer. The court later upheld sentences on 37 of them and sentenced the rest to life in jail. One month after, a court, also in Minya sentenced 683 Morsi supporters to death for attacking a police station and killing a police officer.

Mass death sentences were criticised by international and local rights groups.

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