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188 people sentenced to death in Egypt

Hang over

Cairo, Dec 3 (PTI) An Egyptian court has sentenced 188 people to death for a violent attack on a police station in the restive town Giza after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last year and has kept the trail pending for the opinion of the country’s top religious authority.

The ruling which came yesterday found the defendants guilty of attacking the Kerdasa police station on August 14, 2013, the same day when Egyptian security forces dispersed two Brotherhood protest sit-in camps in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds of people.

They were also found guilty of the attempted murder of 10 other police personnel, sabotaging the police station, torching a number of police vehicles and possessing heavy firearms.

The ruling has been referred to Egypt’s Grand Mufti,a requirement in Egyptian law before any execution can be carried out. The decision is legally non-binding to the court. The court said that the sentences will be confirmed on January 24.

Out of the 188, only 135 were present while the rest were tried in absentia.

Defence lawyer Bahaa Abdel-Rahman told Ahram Online that among the defendants were two persons who died during the trial, but who weren’t dropped from the trial, along with a minor.

The ruling came days after an Egyptian court dropped charges against former president Hosni Mubarak, his minister of interior and six aides over killing unarmed protesters in the 2011 revolution.

Since Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last year, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

In March, 529 Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death for killing a police officer in last year.

Morsi is currently in prison over charges of murdering peaceful protesters, espionage, escaping from prison during the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and insulting the judiciary.

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