FILE – Execution Knot – Maxpixel
CAIRO – 1 December 2019: Giza Criminal Court on Saturday sentenced to death a defendant in the case known in media as "Imbaba Cell," over accusations including targeting Christians and armed forces.
The prosecution has charged the 16 defendants in the case, including three in absentia, with establishing an outlawed group that aims to attack state institutions and harm national unity.
The charges also include targeting Christians, disturbing public order, endangering society, attacking armed forces, and possessing weapons.
The court in March last year upheld death sentences for 10 defendants in the case after the court’s January verdict was approved by the Grand Mufti.
The court also handed down life sentences to another four defendants, another one in absentia for a fleeing defendant, and the suspension of the court sentence for another defendant because of his death.
According to the prosecution’s investigations, two of the defendants were public servants, another two were working as drivers, and one was an employee at the state broadcaster Maspero, along with a sports coach, an electrician and a technician.
During the investigations, the leader of the cell, Mohamed Hamdy Zaky, admitted to organizing demonstrations to topple the current regime in the wake of the June 30 Revolution, and he said that they carried out several attacks against the police and armed forces, using firearms and explosives collected for that very reason.
Other defendants reportedly admitted to partaking in the Muslim Brotherhood-led Rabaa and Nahda camps, deliberately targeting civilians with firearms.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, since taking post in 2014, has vowed to fight terrorism, as terrorist acts have hit many vital spots nationwide, especially security checkpoints and churches.
The attacks were intensified following the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, after only one year in office. Morsi died earlier this year during a trial.