Cairo Criminal Court recommends death penalty for 7 over Islamist protests
Judges of Cairo criminal court during the hearing of Qatar Espionage case, May, 7, 2016. Youm7

CAIRO: Cairo Criminal Court announced it will seek the death sentence for seven Islamists over violence that erupted in Giza in 2013, Youm7 reported.

The seven defendants were tried in absentia. A child was killed in the November 2013 protest in Giza’s Umraniya demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi, who had been ousted in July.

The prosecution also accuses them of attempted murder, sabotaging public and private properties, possessing firearms and blocking roads. The judge referred its recommendation to the Grand Mufti for consultation; the hearing that will confirm or commute the sentence is scheduled for July 17. The Mufti’s opinion is unbinding.

The case includes nine defendants; the verdict of two others will be pronounced after the Mufti responds with his opinion on the death sentences. The case includes two unemployed men, two technicians, an employee at the Housing Union, a high school student, a technical institute student and two others.

Meanwhile, the same court sentenced 10 defendants to life in prison and a minor to 15 years in prison for torching a microbus owned by Tahrir TV channel, stealing its cameras and equipment, assaulting and robbing the staff in February 2014 in Giza’s Talbiya. All 11 were tried in absentia.

The defendants include four students, a civil engineer, a tuk tuk driver, a technician, a stationery store owner, a hairdresser, and another man.

Some pro-Morsi protesters have targeted Egyptian media outlets over their “bias” in covering the heated events at the time.

The sentences issued Sunday by Cairo Criminal Court may be appealed. The Egyptian judiciary tends to issue harsher sentences for those tried in absentia; they are retried once they appear at court.

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