Egypt military court sentences 11 Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis members to death

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Nov 2017

Egyptian border guards patrol in North Sinai (Photo: AP)

An Egyptian military court issued a preliminary death sentence on Tuesday against 11 members of the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis terrorist group who were convicted of involvement in a series of attacks committed in 2014 and 2015, including the 2015 bombing of the Italian consulate in Cairo.

The court is set to issue its final verdict on 20 December, after the preliminary death sentence is referred to the Grand Mufti, whose opinion is legally required but not binding.

The December verdict can be appealed.

Defence lawyer Khaled Al-Masry told Ahram Online that the case involves 155 defendants – around half of whom are fugitives – being tried for involvement in 12 different terrorist attacks, including bombings in Egypt's North Sinai.

The court is set to issue sentences for the remaining defendants at the 20 December court session.

Only three of those sentenced on Tuesday are in custody, with the rest sentenced in absentia.

The fugitives include Hisham Ali Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer-turned-militant.

The North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which is affiliated with the terrorist group Daesh, has claimed responsibility for some of the most deadly attacks targeting police and military personnel since 2013.

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