Eight defendants accused of storming the Helwan police station in 2013 were handed preliminary death sentences by the Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday. A final verdict is expected on October 10, pending review by Egypt’s grand mufti.
The defendants were identified as Abdel Moneim Mahrous, Al-Mohamadi Mohamed, Ali Abdel Tawab, Hussein Rashad, Mohamed Moustafa, Nagi Ali, Mahmoud Hamdy and Mohamed Sadeq. The remaining 60 defendants in the case await a final verdict on October 10.
The case dates back to August 14, 2013, when the Helwan Police Station was stormed in the aftermath of the violent dispersal of the Rabea al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda sit-ins, killing three officers, three citizens and injuring 19 others. The defendants are accused of the killings and of burning down the police station as well as destroying other public buildings.
Hundreds of defendants suspected of supporting former president Mohamed Morsi, or of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization have been handed death sentences since the former president’s ousting in 2013.
Many of these sentences were overturned on appeal, but at least five were upheld, including military court rulings against: six defendants in the case of the Arab Sharkas cell in May 2015; seven defendants implicated in the Kafr al-Sheikh Stadium case; against two in the case known as the “Qaed Ibrahim incident” on charges including assaulting police personnel leading to the death of a policeman in a series of incidents that took place in downtown Alexandria; against 20 people in the Kerdasa case; and against Adel Habara, who was accused of killing 25 soldiers in North Sinai in 2014. Habara was executed in December 2016.
This month, 28 defendants were sentenced to death after being accused of involvement in the 2015 assassination of former general prosecutor Hesham Barakat. Jail terms ranging from 10 to 25 years were handed to the remaining 38 defendants in the case. Of the defendants receiving jail time, 15 were sentenced to 25 years, eight were sentenced to 15 years and 15 were sentenced to 10 years.