Egypt police officer acquitted in Belal torture case

Ahram Online, Monday 17 Jun 2013

Ahmed Mostafa Kamel is second officer acquitted of charges of torturing Sayed Belal to death during 2011 church bombing interrogations

An Alexandria criminal court acquitted on Monday police officer Ahmed Mostafa Kamel, who was charged with torturing suspect Sayed Belal to death.

Belal was under investigation at the time for alleged involvement in the 2011 New Year's Eve bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria.

Kamel was initially sentenced to 25 years in abstentia but was later granted a retrial.

He is the second defendant to be acquitted in the case, following police officer Mahmoud Abdel-Alim who was initially given a life sentence but was found innocent last December during the re-trial.

Defendants Mohamed El-Shimy (popularly known as Alaa Zidan), Hossam El-Shennawy, and Osama El-Keneisy each received a 15-year sentence for their involvement in the torture and killing of Belal.

Sayed Belal, a young Salafist, was arrested by State Security Investigations Service (SSI) 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 to which he had been transferred, saying they should take his corpse. Signs of torture were found on the victim's body, prompting his family to file a lawsuit against the State Security officers.

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