Egypt Court of Cassation orders retrial for 149 sentenced to death in Kerdasa police killings

Ahram Online , Wednesday 3 Feb 2016

The defendants were originally sentenced in 2015 to death over the killing of 11 policemen in the town of Kerdasa in 2013

File Photo: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, civilians walk amid Egyptian security forces in Giza's Kerdasa district, south of Cairo, Egypt. The security forces are conducting an ongoing operation that began Thursday, Sept. 19, when the forces backed by . (AP)

Egypt's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court, has overturned on Wednesday the death sentences of 149 defendants previously convicted of killing policemen in Kerdasa in 2013, and ordered a retrial.

In February 2015, a lower criminal court sentenced 183 supporters of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to death over their role in the killing of 11 policemen in an assault on a police station in the town of Kerdasa, on the outskirts of Cairo in August 2013 during the unrest that followed the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. 

Thirty-four of the defendants were sentenced in absentia.

The new trial will take place before a lower criminal court and defendants will have the opportunity to appeal again before the cassation court.

Since Morsi's ouster, hundreds of his supporters have been sentenced to death on murder charges in swift mass trials condemned by United Nations as "unprecedented in recent history". Many have won retrials though.

However, the Court of Cassation has overturned many of these mass verdicts on a number of occasions, citing procedural mistakes by lower courts' judges.


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