Egypt Court accepts appeal against death sentences in officer's murder

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Feb 2015

The court orders a retrial for seven defendants convicted of murdering police general Nabil Farrag in Kerdasa in 2013

File Photo: The aftermath of the murder of police general Nabil Farrag in September 2013 (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic news website)

The Court of Cassation has accepted defence arguments challenging sentences meted out against 22 people in the murder case of police general Nabil Farrag.

Farrag was killed in Kerdasa, Giza in September 2013 by pro-ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi protesters.

A Giza criminal court had ruled in August 2014 for the death penalty for 12 defendants and life-in-jail for ten others in his murder case.

Farrag was killed and nine other police officers and soldiers were injured during a security raid on the Islamist hotbed town in Giza. The raid aimed to apprehend individuals wanted for a previous violent attack on Kerdasa police station in August 2013 in the aftermath of the dispersal of two Islamist sit-ins in Cairo, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The court ordered the retrial of seven of the defendants who received the death penalty present in court.

200 suspects were arrested in the raid, including those accused of attacking the Kerdasa police station and killing 11 of its officers, following the dispersal of the Pro-Morsi Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins.

Mass execution sentences in the past two years in Egypt have been widely criticised by both local and international human rights organisations.

In April 2014, a Minya criminal court handed death sentences to 529 persons for killing a police officer, committing acts of violence, rioting, destroying public and private property, attacking police officers, and inciting violence.

The Grand Mufti approved the death sentences for 37 in the case.

The court issued a final death penalty ruling against the 37 following the Mufti's opinion.

That case is currently being appealed.

In November 2014 during the United Nations periodical review of Egypt's human rights situation in Geneva, several countries including Germany, Hungary, France, Switzerland and Uruguay recommended that Egypt abolish the death sentence from its penal code.

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