Egypt’s court revokes death sentences of 15 alleged Muslims Brotherhood members over attempt to storm Kerdasa police station
Police officers stand in front of a police station damaged after being set ablaze by supporters of former president Mohamed Mursi in Kerdasa, a town 14 km (9 miles) from Cairo in this September 19, 2013 file photograph. An Egyptian judge sentenced 185 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death on December 2, 2014 over an attack on a police station near Cairo last year in which 12 policemen were killed. The ruling is preliminary and subject to a lengthy appeals process. It also goes to the country's top religious authority for approval although his opinion is not binding. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files

CAIRO: The Court of Cassation annulled on Wednesday death sentences of a total of 15 convicts, allegedly belong to the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood, over charges of attempting to storm Giza’s Kerdasa police station in period July 3-5, 2013 after the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Youm7 reported on Wednesday.

The court accepted the legal challenges filed by the convicts on Wednesday, ruled that a re-trial should be held before a different judicial penal. However, the court did not announce the legal grounds on which it accepted the challenges.

On April 20, 2015, a Cairo criminal court handed down death sentences against 15 defendants, who were present during the trial, and 13 others in absentia; a minor was sentenced to ten years in jail.

The defendants face charges of trying to storm the police station of Kerdasa and killing a policeman, after the ouster of Morsi on July 3, 2013 by the military following million-man protests called for the end of his regime on June 30, 2013.

Kerdasa is a blue-collar district that is believed a stronghold for the Muslim Brotherhood members in Giza; the police station has been attacked twice: first incident took place on July 3 and 2, while second incident, which has been dubbed in media as “Kerdasa Massacre” occurred on August 16, 2013, only two days after the dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins of Rabaa and Nahada squares.

A total of 183 defendants have been tried for the case of “Kerdasa Massacre” where 11 police officers were killed, and their bodies mutilated. A number of police vehicles were also burned. On Feb. 2, 2015, the 183 defendants were sentenced to death, while a minor defendant was sentenced in the same trial to 10 years in jail and two others were acquitted; the case was dropped for other two defendants who have since died. Year later, the Court of Cassation has revoked the death sentences of 150 defendants.

In a third different case, 13 defendants are being tried in absentia over killing a police Gen. Nabil Farrag when police forces stormed Kerdasa on Sept. 19, 2013 to arrest Muslim brotherhood members.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death over violence-related crimes in the wake of the ouster of Morsi; however, the court of cassation has revoked most of the initial verdicts and ordered re-trails.



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