Egypt court hands down 10 yr sentences to 8 people for militancy charges

Saturday 06-02-2016 04:20 PM

CAIRO, Feb 6 (Aswat Masriya) – The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced eight defendants to 10 years of high security prison on Saturday for accusations of being part of a militant cell in the northeastern province of Suez.

The court originally sentenced in absentia the 26 defendants involved in the case to death, in March 2014. 

But six defendants demanded a re-trial and authorities arrested two more involved, bringing the number of defendants who were present at court today to eight.

The defendants are accused of "establishing and managing a terrorist cell" which targets ships passing through the Suez Canal, "observing security headquarters" with the aim of targeting them, possession of firearms and "threatening national unity". 

The Suez Canal is a strategic waterway for Egypt and it brings the state billions of dollars annually.

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