FILE: Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid (Shawkan) FILE: Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid (Shawkan)

Wrap-up: 75 defendants sentenced to death in Rabaa sit-in dispersal case

Sun, Sep. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 September 2018: In a case involving 739 defendants facing charges ranging from murder to damaging property, a Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 75, including senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, to death for their involvement in a 201 Rabaa sit-in protest.

Those sentenced to death by hanging include senior Brotherhood leaders Safwat Hegazy, Mohamed el Beltagy, Essam el-Erian, Abdel Rahman al-Barr, Amr Zaki, Tarek el-Zomor, and Assem Abdel Maged.The court also sentenced former Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and 46 other MB members, to life imprisonment (25 years in jail).

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The life sentence list includes the former Minister of Supply and Interior Trade, Bassem Ouda, and the former deputy chairman of al-Wasat Party, Essam Sultan.

Moreover; it handed down a 10-year imprisonment against Osama Moris, the son of former MB President Mohamed Morsi. On Dec. 10, 2016, Morsi’s son appeared behind bars for the first time since he was arrested.

Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid (Shawkan) received a five-year sentence. Legal experts affirmed that Shawkan will be released upon the court's verdict, since he spent the sentence in remand custody.

The convicts are charged with staging an armed gathering in Rabaa square, illegally possessing and handling weapons, blocking driveways, and deliberately vandalizing public property along with other counts related to murdering policemen and citizens.

How the case goes

On Dec. 12, 2015, the first trial was held. Constituency No. (28) related to terrorist cases, affiliated to the Cairo Criminal Court has been in charge of reviewing the case under the chairmanship of counselor Hassan Farid.

To date, 65 hearing sessions were held and 16 sessions were dedicated for the defendants’ defense teams. Only 20 out of 350 defendants have not yet been given the chance to present their defense argument. Although there are 739 defendants in this case, only 350 are imprisoned, most notably Badie, Mohamed Beltagy and the son of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The concerned judges listened to the testimonies of three police major generals including former Cairo Security Directorate Chief Osama al-Sagheir in a closed session. Although former Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was not enlisted as an eyewitness in this case, the court listened to him upon a request from the defendants’ defense team on Feb. 8, 2018.

Three defendants were released due to deteriorating health condition. However, all the imprisoned defendants were sentenced to one year in prison for insulting the court on Feb. 25, 2017. Subsequently, the court overturned the sentence and annulled the one-year imprisonment decision.

On Aug. 14, 2013, Security Forces set out to disperse the Muslim Brotherhood sit-in in Nasr City’s Rabaa al-Adawiya, along with another sit-in located in Nahda Square, Giza.

The Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in was primarily forged by former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi supporters and sympathizers in support of his legitimacy.

Damage to the surrounding area as a result of the dispersal amounted to LE 50 million ($2.8 million).

Additional reporting by Nawal Sayed

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