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Egypt Military Court to Execute 8 Over Sisi Assassination Plot

Egypt Military Court to Execute 8 Over Sisi Assassination Plot

Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 - 08:45
An attempt to assassinate former Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in 2013. (AFP)

An Egyptian military court has issued preliminary death sentences against eight people convicted of attempting to assassinate President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in 2014.

The court has transferred the case to Egypt’s top religious official, the Grand Mufti, whose non-binding opinion is required before executions can take place.

The eight were tried in absentia. Of the 292 suspects, 151 are in custody.

Those in custody will then have one chance to appeal against the sentences. Those tried in absentia will be retried if they turn themselves in or are captured.

A court date has been set for March 6, following the Mufti’s decision, when all 292 defendants will be handed sentences.

Two of the eight for whom the court is seeking capital punishment planned to target Sisi in a hotel in Makkah, where they mistakenly thought he was staying in 2014.

Investigations showed that the defendants tried to assassinate Sisi by placing a large quantity of explosives at the Swiss Hotel, where the cell leader Ahmed Bayoumi was watching him.

He was working at the Clock Tower and admitted that he recruited a number of other defendants, including a suspect identified as Hussein Mohamed who was responsible for monitoring the operation.

Bayoumi admitted that his wife had offered to wear an explosive suicide belt to distract troops while the rest of the cell members focused on targeting Sisi.

A dentist, Ali Ibrahim Hassan, also admitted that Ahmed Bayoumi Tahawi and Mahmoud Jaber Mahmoud Ali were planning to target Sisi and that a woman called Dr. Mervat, Ahmed Bayoumi's wife, was planning on blowing herself up as women weren’t being searched at the time.

According to investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, the defendants committed more than 17 terrorist operations and attempted assassination and monitoring.

In addition, the defendants were accused of assassinating three judges in North Sinai, in May 2016, and attacking the residence of judges supervising Egypt's parliamentary elections inside a North Sinai hotel, killing two judges, two policemen, and a citizen.

They were also accused of staging a multi-pronged attack on the headquarters of the Army Battalion 101 in Arish city in North Sinai in January 2015, which killed 30 military personnel.

In November 2016, the state security prosecution referred 292 alleged ISIS members to a military court on charges of plotting to assassinate Sisi and launching terrorist attacks in the country.

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