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.