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Update: 1,207 MB members referred to criminal court

The prosecution referred 1,207 Muslim Brotherhood members to the Minya Criminal Court on Monday.

The defendants are charged with storming and burning the Matay police station, killing a police officer, stealing weapons and releasing inmates, reported the state-owned news site EgyNews.

The trial is set to start on March 3.

Earlier on Monday, the presidency’s spokesperson Ihab Bedawy declared that interim President Adly Mansour’s administration did not uphold the death sentences handed down to 14 individuals convicted of terrorism.

Bedawy issued an official statement in response to the state-owned Middle East News Agency’s (MENA) report earlier in the day that the Office for State Security Affairs had approved the death sentences, as well as life imprisonment for four others convicted of bombing an Arish police station last year.

The bombing had killed one police officer and injured many others. The defendants in that case were also found guilty of killing a member of the police forces securing the Alexandria Bank on the same day. The perpetrators were members of an Al-Qaeda-style jihadist group called Tawhid and Jihad, according to MENA.

MENA’s report went on to say that the Office for State Security Affairs is a special judicial body tasked with approving or vetoing verdicts issued by the State Security Court, which are final and not subject to appeal; and reviewing complaints filed by defendants in those cases.

However, in his statement Badawy said the Office for State Security Affairs did not exist.

Also on Monday, the Ismailia Criminal Court adjourned the trial of seven people accused of killing a police officer to February 12.

The defendants are accused of shooting Captain Ahmed Radwan Abu Douma several times during his shift as part of a rotating police taskforce in Ismailia.

The administrator of a Facebook group accused of inciting violence against police officers and illegally publishing their personal information was arrested on Monday, reported the state-owned news site EgyNews.

Mohamed Islam Abdel Hafiz, 21, is the administrator of a Facebook group named “Black Bloc Rabeawy.”

The defendant also confessed to moderating other Facebook groups that urge police officers to strike, prosecutors said.

Police confiscated the defendant’s laptop, which stored images and text that were published on the page.

Abdel Hafiz’ arrest comes amid efforts by the Ministry of Interior to electronically track “elements of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group involved with creating pages on social networking websites to incite against police officers,” EgyNews said.