Poster reads: "Justice for Sayed Belal" during first year memorial over his torture, January 2012 (Photo: Randa Ali)
The Alexandria Criminal Court on Thursday deemed innocent police officer Mahmoud Abdel-Alim, previously charged with torturing to death Sayed Belal who was suspected of involvement in the 2011 New Year's Eve bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria.
Abdel-Alim had been afforded a re-trial following his sentencing to life imprisonment on 21 June 2012.
Other defendants in the Belel killing case had also received long sentences, including Hossam El-Shennawy, Osama El-Keneisy, and Ahmed Mostafa Kamel. Defendant Mohamed El-Shimy, popularly known as Alaa Zidan, got a 15-year sentence for his involvement in the torture and killing of Belal.
Abdel-Alim had stated that he had no involvement in the torture or killing of Belal and that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations against him.
Sayed Belal, a young Salafist, was arrested by State Security Investigations and questioned for his suspected involvement in the attack on the Two Saints Church that claimed the lives of 23 and injured almost 100 more.
On 12 January 2011, Belal's family received a phone call from the medical centre he had been transported to, saying they should take his corpse. Signs of torture were found on the victim's body, prompting his family to file a lawsuit accusing the State Security officers of responsibility for his death.