CAIRO: A total of 122 alleged Islamists were sentenced in absentia to life in prison in a military trial and 32 detainees were handed 3-7 years for raiding a police station in Upper Egypt, Youm7 reported.
Two others in the case of raiding Abu Korkas police station in Minya were acquitted over a lack of evidence. The Egyptian judiciary tends to issue harsh sentences to those tried in absentia. They are retried once they appear at court.
The public prosecution referred the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated defendants to a military court in Asyut, Upper Egypt with indictments that included murdering a number of policemen and civilians outside the police station.
Following the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, dozens of police stations across Egypt were raided by pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters.
At least 156 defendants were referred to a military trial in April for belonging to a “terrorist organization and possessing explosives” in a case that dates back to 2014, while 73 others were also referred to a military court in January for belonging to the self-proclaimed Sinai Province group.
Hundreds of defendants have been referred to military trials in cases related to Sinai Province and Muslim Brotherhood groups in the past two years.
The jurisdiction of military tribunals expanded in the three years following the revolution. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a decree Oct. 27 that allows military forces to join the police in security public institutions and utilities for two years, and accordingly any citizen arrested for attacking such entities may be referred to a military trial. It also stipulates that crimes of terrorism and acts that “threaten the security of the country” may fall under the purview of military courts.