CAIRO: Alleged militant jihadist Adel Habara, 40, along with six co-defendants were sentenced to death in the case known as “Rafah Second Massacre,” in which 25 junior policemen were killed in northern Sinai in August 2013.
The initial death sentence was issued on Oct. 14 and the verdict was referred to the Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam for an advisory opinion.
The case tried a total of 35 persons; after the death sentences three were handed life sentences, 22 were sentenced to 15 years in prison and three were acquitted. Charges include: committing terrorist attacks in Sinai and Cairo, espionage, vandalism of public properties, and conspiring with an Al-Qaeda militant group in Iraq.
On Aug. 19, 2013, 27 junior policemen were forced out of micro-buses on the Rafah-Arish Road and were later found dead on the side of the road. Only two survived the attack, sustaining severe injuries.
Habara denied he committed the 2013 terrorist attack, speaking to Youm7 Oct. 14 during a court recess.
On May 7, Habara was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the judiciary during a hearing in which he kept speaking up to disagree with the court.
Habara was previously sentenced to death in absentia for killing soldiers in the Nile Delta last year.
The name of the case is after the Rafah border area where the killing of the police officers took place. The 2013 attack was preceded by another mass killing which took place on the Egyptian-Israeli borders, after militant armed men killed 16 soldiers and officers in August 2012.