Egypt court condemns 9 to death for killing of judge's bodyguard

2015-09-07 19:15
(AP Photo/Egyptian Interior Ministry)

(AP Photo/Egyptian Interior Ministry)

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Cairo - A court in the northern Egyptian city of al-Mansoura confirmed on Monday the death sentences of nine men in the killing the bodyguard of a judge who jailed ousted president Mohammed Morsi, state television reported.

The broadcaster said the men were all members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned as a terrorist organisation, months after the army ousted the Islamist leader in 2013.

The men were convicted in February last year of the murder of police corporal Abdullah Metwalli, a guard on the house of Judge Hussein Qandil.

In July, the court referred the 10 defendants in the case to the Grand Mufti, the country's top Islamic legal authority, for his opinion on whether the death sentence should be applied.

Qandil was a member of the panel of judges that jailed Morsi for 20 years in April over attacks by his supporters on protesters while he was president.

Morsi was sentenced to death in June for orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising that ended the rule of dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice news portal quoted the defendants' defence team as saying that they had been arrested at random and tortured into giving confessions.

Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and supporters have been sentenced to death over deadly acts of violence following Morsi's ouster. Most of the sentences remain subject to appeal.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned the trials as lacking in due process and have argued that members of the security forces have not been held accountable for the deaths hundreds of Islamist protestors during clashes and police crackdowns.

The government says that the judiciary is independent and operates to the highest of international standards.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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