Egypt Court sentences defendants in ‘October Terrorist Cell’ case

One defendant was sentenced to death and four others to life imprisonment
Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma gestures from behind a glass cage during his trial session in a make-shift courtroom in the southern outskirts of the capital Cairo on January 9, 2019. – A leading figure in Egypt’s 2011 revolution, Douma was handed 15 years in prison and fined six million Egyptian pounds ($335,000, 290,000 euros) on January 9 after a retrial. He was arrested in 2013 on charges of clashing with security forces in Cairo two years earlier, and received a 25-year prison sentence in 2015. The verdict can be appealed. (Photo by – / AFP)

A court in Egypt has sentenced one defendant to death and four others to life imprisonment (25 years) in the “October terrorist cell” case. They were convicted of “establishing and operating a terrorist group that seeks to change the state rule by force and jeopardize the society’s security.”

Since ousting Mohamed Morsi, former president affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian courts have issued hundreds of death sentences. Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi responded to this criticism, during Arab League-European Union summit last week, saying that “When a human being is killed in a terrorist act, the families tell me that we want the right of our children and their blood. This culture exists in the region and that right must be given through the law.”

Earlier, Giza Criminal Court sentenced five to death in Sep. 2018 and two to life sentences after being convicted of premeditated murder and terrorism. However, the Court of Cassation accepted the appeals of the seven suspects.

The Public Prosecution accused the suspects of forming a terrorist cell to target individuals, and police and armed forces institutions in addition to plotting to target Christians. According to investigators, the suspects committed their crimes between Oct. 2013 and Jan. 28, 2014 in 6th of October.

Prosecutors said that the defendants established a group that aimed to violate the provisions of the constitution and the law, prevent state institutions from functioning, and violate personal freedoms. The indictment also included charges of arms possession to create instability and disrupt national unity and social peace.

In another context, the Giza Criminal Court deferred the retrial of 32 defendants in the “Dispersal of Nahda Sit-in” case until the following day.

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