CAIRO: The Giza Criminal Court handed down death sentences to 22 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday, Youm7 reported. The men are accused of attacking a police station in Cairo’s southern Kerdasa district in 2013.
The attack coincided with the military-backed ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following a mass protest against his rule. Fifteen defendants were present during the trial while the other seven are fugitives and were tried in absentia.
According to the verdict, the defendants were found guilty of murdering a policeman, attempting to storm Kerdasa police station, rioting, sabotaging of public properties and possession of weapons.
The court referred the ruling to the Grand Mufti, the country’s highest Islamic legal official, to issue a religious opinion on the sentences; a customary legal procedure adopted only in death sentences. However, the Mufti’s ruling is not binding and the defendants still can appeal.
The court has set April 20 for the issuance of the final verdict.
Since the military-backed overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following a mass protest against his regime, hundreds of MB supporters have been sentenced to death for their role in inciting violence. Most of these death sentences were appealed and sent to retrial.
On Feb. 5, the Court of Cassation upheld the first execution of an alleged MB supporter for throwing four teenagers to their death from a rooftop of a building in Alexandria in 2013.