Egypt court upholds death sentence for 20 Brotherhood members

Cairo, Sep 24 : An Egyptian court on Monday confirmed the death sentence given to 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood group for storming a police station and killing 14 policemen, the media reported.

The Court of Cassation, Egypt’s top court that gives final verdicts, upheld the death verdicts of the 20 militants, mostly loyalists and members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, reported Xinhua news agency.

The defendants stormed the main police station in Kerdasa district, a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood at that time, in Giza province in mid-August 2013, killing 17 people including 14 policemen.

The assault, known as the “Kerdasa massacre,” took place more than a month after Morsi’s military removal on July 3, 2013 and shortly after a massive security crackdown on two pro-Morsi sit-ins on August 14, 2013, in Cairo and Giza, which left hundreds dead and thousands under arrest.

The case originally involved 188 defendants including fugitives. In February 2015, the court sentenced 183 of them to death and a minor to 10 years in jail. After appeals in February 2016, the Court of Cassation ordered the retrial of 156 of them.

In April 2017, the criminal court recommended the death penalty for 20 of them and referred their case documents to the Grand Mufti, the country’s interpreter of religious law, to get his religious opinion on their execution. He later approved.

They appealed the death sentence later, but the Court of Cassation rejected their appeal on Monday.

Most Brotherhood leaders, members and supporters, including Morsi himself and the Brotherhood spiritual guide Mohamed Badie, are currently jailed. Many of them have received death sentences and life imprisonments over various charges varying from inciting violence and murder to espionage and jailbreak.

Morsi is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for inciting deadly clashes between his supporters and opponents in late 2012 and a 25-year jail term for leaking classified documents to Qatar.
(IANS)

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