El-Beltagy and Hegazy get 20 years for torturing cops at Rabaa

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Sep 2014

Leading Muslim Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazy were charged with torturing two police officers at the Rabaa sit-in and joining a banned group

Mohamed El-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazi
Muslim Brotherhood's senior member Mohamed El-Beltagy (L) and Islamist cleric Safwat Hegazi (R) gestures the four-fingered "Rabaa" hand symbol behind bars and glass panels from the defendant's cage at a courtroom in Cairo December 6, 2013 (Photo: Amir Abdal-Zahr)

Cairo's criminal court on Tuesday sentenced leading Muslim Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazy to 20 years in jail for torturing police officers during the Rabaa sit-in and joining a banned group.

El-Beltagy and Hegazy, along with two other defendants from the Rabaa field hospital, Abdel-Aziz Ibrahim and Mohamed Mahmoud, got 10 years in jail for detaining and torturing two police officers during the sit-in.

El-Beltagy and Hegazy received another 10 years each on charges of joining and managing an illegal organisation – a reference to the Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist organisation last December.

Defendants Mohamed El-Zanaty and Abdel-Azim Mohamed were each sentenced to five years in jail for joining a banned group and were acquitted from the rest of the charges.

The prosecution accused the defendants in the case of detaining two police officers and torturing and attempting to kill them during the Rabaa sit-in – the main protest camp for supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi which was violently dispersed by security forces on 14 August 2013, leaving hundreds dead.

The defence teams for El-Beltagy and Hegazy told Ahram Online they will appeal the verdict as soon as the court issues its legal reasoning.

El-Beltagy, a former MP and a leading member in the Brotherhood, and Hegazy, a Brotherhood member and Islamist preacher, have already each received two life sentences – one for their role in violent clashes last August in front of the Istiqama Mosque in Giza and another for clashes along the Qalyubia highway last July.

El-Beltagy was also sentenced to a year in prison on Saturday for insulting the judges in a trial in which he and other Brotherhood members are accused of inciting violence against protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

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