Court refers 5 defendants to Grand Mufti over Kerdasa violence

Thursday 02-04-2015 07:25 PM
Court refers 5 defendants to Grand Mufti over Kerdasa violence

Security forces take their positions during clashes with gunmen in Kerdasa, a town 14 km (9 miles) from Cairo, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer


CAIRO, Apr 2 (Aswat Masriya) - The Giza Criminal Court referred on Thursday five defendants to the Grand Mufti to review death sentences handed to them over complicity in violence in the town of Kerdasa.

The court is scheduled to issue its final verdict on May 4, after the Mufti provides his opinion.

Consulting Egypt's Grand Mufti is a procedural step adopted in all cases which involve death sentences. The Mufti's rulings are not binding, yet it is customary for the court to adopt them.

The defendants are charged with murdering a policeman, attempted murder of others, use of violence, possession of weapons, assembly and vandalism. They were previously sentenced to death -in absentia- alongside 178 others last February.

The retrial procedures of the defendants were repeated following their arrests, as per Egyptian laws.

The violence in Kerdasa came shortly after police forces forcibly dispersed two sit-ins in support of former President Mohamed Mursi on August 14, 2013, causing the death of hundreds of protesters in what was described by Human Rights Watch as "the most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history."

Authorities have led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters since the military ouster of Mursi in July 2013. Mursi himself is in jail, facing a string of charges in more than one court case.

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