Egyptian court issues 10 preliminary death sentences in 'El-Zawahiri cell' case

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 10 Aug 2015

The brother of Al Qaeda leader Ayman El-Zawahiri will be sentenced along with 58 remaining defendants on 27 December

Mohamed El-Zawahry
Mohamed El-Zawahiri Borther of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman El-Zawahri (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Cairo Criminal Court issued preliminary death penalty sentences to 10 defendants convicted of running a terrorist organisation connected with Al-Qaeda.

Another 58 defendants charged in the case, including Mohamed El-Zawahiri, the brother of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman El-Zawahiri, did not receive sentences on Monday.

The court will issue its verdict on the remainder of the defendants on 27 December.

The defendants were charged with operating a terrorist organisation which aims use force in order to oust the regime, attack police personnel, attack Egyptian Christians, and commit terrorist attacks to spread chaos. 

Fifty-two of the defendants are in custody, 13 are being tried in absentia, and three have died.

In 1999, Mohamed El-Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia for a handful of terrorist attacks in Egypt, including the 1997 killing of 62 foreign tourists in the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor.

In June 2011, a military court accepted El-Zawahiri's appeal against the death verdict and the case was closed. He subsequently returned to Egypt.

El-Zawahiri is currently behind bars.

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