Egypt court confirms death sentences against seven for Kerdasa killing

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Sep 2016

A Giza criminal court confirmed death sentences for seven defendants on Saturday on charges related to the 2013 killing of a senior police officer during a raid on and Islamist stronghold in Giza, a judicial source said.

Thirteen men had originally been issued with death sentences by the court on 30 July, but five saw their sentences reduced in Saturday's hearing to ten-year prison terms instead, and one defendant was acquitted.

The court’s decision on Saturday came after the Grand Mufti, the country's highest official interpreter of Islamic law, approved the seven death sentences, the source added. The mufti's opinion on death sentences is required but is not binding.

The defendants were convicted of charges related to the death of high-ranking police officer Nabil Farag, who was killed in a shootout with militants during a security raid in Giza’s Kerdasa district.

Kerdasa has been known to be a stronghold for supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The defendants were charged with the attempted murder of police personnel, the possession of firearms and explosives, assaulting state installations and undermining social peace and public order.

The defendants were first sentenced to death in absentia in an initial trial in 2014; their retrial began after being apprehended.

Saturday's sentences can still be appealed before the Court of Cassation.

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