Egypt court upholds death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood members

Cairo : An Egyptian court on Monday upheld the death sentences against five members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood on charges of murdering policemen in 2013, media reported.

The case, known as “Kerdasa massacre”, dates back to August 2013, when alleged supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi stormed a police station in Kerdasa suburb of Giza province, southwest of capital Cairo, and killed 11 policemen and two civilians.

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The defendants were initially handed the sentences last month and Monday’s ruling came after the approval of the mufti of the republic, the highest religious authority in the country, Xinhua news agency reported citing state-run Nile TV.

The sentences can still be appealed.

They were also charged with attempted murder, violence and weapons possession following the dispersal of two major protest camps for Morsi supporters.

The harsh crackdown on the two sit-ins left nearly 1,000 people dead while thousands were detained.

Hundreds of top Brotherhood leaders and members were sentenced to death in swift trials over murder and violence charges.

On April 21, Morsi himself, who was toppled by the army on July 3, 2013, in response to mass protests against his rule, was sentenced to 20 years in jail over killing and torture of protesters in 2012. The sentence can still be appealed.

The ousted Islamist president is also awaiting trial over such charges as espionage, violence, jailbreak and insulting the judiciary.