Egypt court upholds death sentences against 20

Cairo: Egypt’s top appeals court on Monday upheld death sentences issued by a lower court against 20 people convicted of killing 14 policemen in a 2013 Islamist attack near Cairo, legal sources said.

The Court of Cassation, the country’s top appeals tribunal, also confirmed life sentences handed down by the Cairo Criminal Court in a retrial last year against 80 others in the same case, the sources added. Thirty-four co-defendants received 15 years in prison.

Monday’s verdicts are irreversible. They were delivered after the top court rejected appeals by the defendants against earlier sentences.

The case is related to storming by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood of a police station in the area of Kerdasa south of Cairo in August 2013 when they killed and mutilated 14 police personnel.

The attack was among a string of violence acts that broke out in Egypt in August 2013 following security forces’ dispersal of two sit-ins staged in Cairo by loyalists of deposed president Mohammad Mursi, a senior official in the now-banned Brotherhood.

The convicts were convicted of premeditated murder, belonging to an outlawed group and sabotaging public property.

Monday’s rulings are the latest in a series of mass trials in Egypt. On Sunday, a criminal court sentenced the Brotherhood head Mohammad Badie and 64 others to life in prison in a separate violence case after their retrial.

Both Mursi and Badie are in prison serving varying jail terms on multiple charges.

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