CAIRO, Feb. 3 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's Cassation Court accepted Wednesday the appeal of 149 defendants who had been given the death penalty in what has become known as the "Kerdasa massacre" case.
Last February, the Giza Criminal Court sentenced 183 defendants to death, among whom 34 were sentenced in absentia.
In mid-August 2013, Kerdasa police station was attacked in the aftermath of the violent dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins, which had been set in support of former president Mohamed Mursi. Mursi was removed by the military in July after mass protests against his rule.
The prosecution charged the defendants with participating in the attack and killing 11 police officers and two civilians.
They were also charged with the attempted murder of 10 other policemen, damaging the police station’s building, setting ablaze cars and armoured vehicles belonging to the police and possession of ammunition.
Last month, Egypt's Cassation Prosecution recommended that the appeal be accepted. It further recommended that the defendants, who include one woman, be retried in a different court circuit.
The initial verdict was handed down by Judge Nagy Shehata, who is known for issuing harsh sentences against defendants in the various cases he has presided over. These include the "Rabaa Operations Room" case in which 14 deaths sentences and 37 life sentences were issued against defendants and the "Cabinet clashes" case in which prominent activist Ahmed Douma and 37 others were given life sentences.