Egypt: Zawahiri aquitted, 10 sentenced to death in Al-Qaeda linked case

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Oct 2015

The court also acquitted the brother of Al-Qaeda leader in the trial known in the media as the "Zawahiri cell" case

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

A Cairo criminal court sentenced on Thursday 10 defendants to death for running a terrorist organisation connected to Al-Qaeda.

The court had already issued its preliminary death sentences to 10 defendants in August and then referred their case to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, consulting him for his views about the executions.

The court also sentenced 22 other defendants in the case to life in prison and 17 others to 15 years. 

All of the sentences handed down can still be appealed.

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

The criminal court acquitted in the same trial 17 other defendants including Mohamed Zawahiri, the brother of current Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri.

The trial is known in Egyptian media as the "Zawahiri cell.” 

Although he was acquitted in this trial, the Cairo criminal court referred Mohamed Zawahiri to the prosecutor general to investigate his alleged involvement in the “Victorious Sect" terrorist cell.

In 1999, Mohamed 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 Zawahiri's appeal against the death verdict and the case was closed. He subsequently returned to Egypt.

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