Egyptian court orders retrial for MB supreme guide Badie in 'Port Said police station' case

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 May 2017

Mohamed Badie was among those handed jail terms in August 2015, but the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial on Tuesday, having heard an appeal from the defence team

File photo: Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie (C) reacts with other brotherhood members at a court in the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt May 16, 2015. (Reuters)

Egypt's Court of Cassation has granted a retrial to Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, and other 49 defendants in the "Port Said police station" case.

The defendants, including MB leaders Safwat Hegazi and Mohamed El-Beltagi, had been been handed jail terms ranging from 10 years to life for their involvement in the storming of El-Arab police station in Port-Said in August 2013.

However, after the sentences were passed by Port Said Criminal Court in August 2015, defence lawyers lodged an appeal. On Tuesday, having heard the appeal, the Court of Casssation ordered a retrial.

A total of 92 defendants were given jail terms in August 2015, including 76 in absentia, for involvement in the storming of the police station in the wake of the 2013 ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.

The attack resulted in the murder of five people and the injury of several others, including police officers and station staff. Those storming the police station also attempted to release prisoners kept in the jail.

Another 28 defendants were aquitted of charges during the original trial.

'Rabaa operations room' retrial

On Monday, Giza Criminal Court handed down sentences in another case involving Badie – the retrial of the "Rabaa operations room" case.

The supreme guide and two other defendants were sentenced to life in prison and two were given five-years jail terms, with another 21 acquitted.

In April 2015, Badie and 13 other defendants were sentenced to death, while 37 others were sentenced to life in prison, for setting up an "operations room" at a protest camp supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya in 2013.

After Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, the now-banned Brotherhood – from which the ex-president hails – and other Islamist groups held a sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya to protest his deposal.

In Monday's verdicts, Badie, Mahmoud Ghozlan and Hossam Abu Bakr received life sentences. Salah Sultan and his son received five years in prison.

Those acquitted include two journalists, Hani Salah El-Deen and Ahmed Sobai. Others included Omar Malek (son of Brotherhood leader Hassan Malek), who faced a death sentence in the 2015 trial, former MPs Saad El-Hoseiny and Ahmed Abu Baraka and Brotherhood media spokesman Gehad El-Haddad.

The retrial verdicts can still be appealed.

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's former president and prominent member of the Brotherhood's guidance office, was ousted by a popular uprising in July 2013. The organization was designated as a terrorist group in December of the same year.

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