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Court upholds police officer's 5-year sentence in Abu Zaabal truck case

Thu, Feb. 8, 2018
CAIRO - 8 February 2018: The Court of Cassation upheld Thursday the five-year imprisonment sentence against a police officer in the retrial of the case publically known as 'Abu Zaabal prison truck' on charges of manslaughter 37 detainees in August 2013.

The court also upheld the verdict against three other police officers, where they received a suspended sentences of one year each, on the same charges.

The head of the police station, Amr Farouk, and three other officers, Ibrahim Mohamed el-Morsi, Islam Abdel Fattah Helmi, and Mohamed Yahia Abdel Aziz, face charges of intentionally killing 37 prisoners and injuring others in August 2013.

On 18 August, 37 citizens, arrested during the unrest followed Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins dispersal, died of asphyxiation after the police officer threw teargases inside the truck while being transferred to Abu Zaabal prison in Cairo.

Prosecution investigated the case, questioning the survivors of the incident and a number of people including policemen, forensic doctors and a representative of the Ministry of Justice, according to the Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Investigations showed that the police van transporting the prisoners had only the capacity to hold 24 people. At the time of the incident, 45 people were inside.

Security forces claimed that the prisoners had died during an escape attempt. However, the prosecution later said this was inaccurate.

In December 2013, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization after several terrorist attacks followed Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July of the same year.
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