Egyptian court confirms 28 death sentences
A Cairo criminal court yesterday sentenced 28 people to death over the killing of Egypt’s top prosecutor in 2015 and handed 15 others prison sentences of 25 years each.
The court also handed down sentences ranging from 10 years to life in prison to 38 co-defendants in the same case. Sixteen of the accused were tried in absentia.
The court had in June recommended passing the death penalty to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, who can approve or reject the recommendation.
The sentences, confirmed by the court in yesterday’s hearing after the Grand Mufti’s approval, can be appealed.
Public prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb attack in his convoy in Cairo, an operation for which Egypt blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas. Both groups have denied it.
Barakat was the most senior Egyptian figure to die in a spate of attacks that hit the country following the military’s toppling in 2013 of democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
The defendants were also charged with possessing explosives and conspiring with the Palestinian Hamas movement to carry out attacks in Egypt.
The death sentences are subject to an automatic appeal. Other verdicts can also be appealed by both the defence and prosecution.
Last month, the court handed preliminary death sentences to 30 defendants in the case.
– Daily Sabah Mideast