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Death, Life Sentences against Detainees behind Niger Embassy Attack in Egypt

Death, Life Sentences against Detainees behind Niger Embassy Attack in Egypt

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018 - 12:15
The High Court of Justice in Cairo. (Reuters)

An Egyptian military court sentenced one person to death and four others to life in prison in relation to an attack on the Embassy of Niger in Giza in July 2015, which left one policeman dead and three others injured.

The court sentenced 12 other defendants to 10 years in prison and 13 others to three years. The sentences can be appealed.

It also acquitted eight defendants.

According to investigations by the High State Security Prosecution, the defendants attacked the embassy to publicly declare the presence of ISIS in the Egyptian capital.

The prosecution added that the defendants confessed to pledging their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

They also confessed to establishing a terrorist cell aimed at carrying out attacks in the country and targeting police forces and shops owned by Egyptian Coptic Christians.

Defendants in the case faced a number of charges, including murder, joining a terrorist organization, plotting to overthrow the regime and weapons possession.

After the court recommended that they be sentenced to death in December, the files of two defendants were referred to the grand mufti — the country’s chief religious cleric — who issues non-binding opinions on whether or not executions should be carried out.

The initial judgments can be before the Military High Court of Appeals within 60 days, while the absent defendants are retried upon arrest or surrender to the authorities.

In recent years, courts in Egypt have sentenced hundreds to death in cases of violence, but most of these sentences have been overturned.

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