Egyptian prosecutors released on bail Tuesday the main police officer accused of torturing to death a fish vendor in police custody late last year, a judicial source said.
In November 2016, Magdy Makeen, a 53-year-old fish vendor, died at a police station in a working-class Cairo neighbourhood shortly after he was arrested during a brawl with a policeman.
Police officer Karim Magdy was released on bail of EGP 5,000 pending investigations after he successfully appealed his 45-day detention. He was ordered detained along with three other low-ranking policemen who are still in jail.
The four men face charges of "beating that led to death," causing injuries mentioned in the autopsy report and "willfully harming their place of work, [the interior ministry]."
An autopsy report by the state's forensic medicine authority said the post-mortem examination revealed Makeen had been subjected to torture, prosecutors said.
The policemen have denied physically assaulting Makeen or the two other people who were arrested with him.
Earlier this year, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi pledged to hold accountable policemen guilty of "violations" after a series of deaths in police custody, allegedly caused by torture, sparked public outcry.
The interior ministry has said that such violations represent isolated incidents.
Some policemen have received lengthy sentences over violations in the past few years, but sentences are usually appealed and subsequently reduced. Critics say policemen act within a climate of impunity.