File Photo: A view shows a damaged police station burnt in a blaze by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi in Kerdasa, a town 14 km (9 miles) from Cairo in this September 19, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturned the convictions of five men who were sentenced to death for storming a police station and killing 11 policemen in the town of Kerdasa in 2013.
In its Monday verdict the court ordered the men's death sentenced be overturned and they be retried for the offences.
Eleven police officers were killed during an attack on Kerdasa police station in August 2013, following the dispersal of two large sit-ins in Cairo supporting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
A total of 183 defendants were originally sentenced to death in February by Giza’s Criminal Court headed by Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata. Thirty-four of those were sentenced in absentia.
The five defendants whose sentences were overturned on Monday were initially sentenced to death in absentia in February, but were subsequently arrested, retried and sentenced to death in a May verdict.
The Court of Cassation is expected to consider the appeals of another 138 defendants in the same case on 6 January.
Defence lawyers for the five men argued that they are not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and were not caught in the act committing the crimes they are accused of.
Hundreds of defendants have been sentenced to death in cases related to violence since the ouster of Morsi in 2013.
Of the defendants sentenced to death, seven have been executed; many others have filed appeals, are facing retrials, or were sentenced in absentia.