Egypt’s highest appeal court on Sunday upheld death sentences against nine people convicted for their involvement in the assassination of the country’s top prosecutor three years ago, a judiciary source said.
Hisham Barakat, a former Prosecutor-General of Egypt, was killed in June 2015 when a bomb struck his convoy in Cairo after jihadist calls for attacks on the judiciary to avenge a crackdown on Islamists.
Three other civilians were also killed in the attack, according to sources report.
Six other defendants in the case had their sentence commuted from death to life in prison, it said.
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“On Sunday, Egypt’s Court of Cassation confirmed the death sentence for nine of the 15, while reducing the sentences of the six others to life imprisonment,” the judicial source said.
The court also acquitted five defendants who had earlier rewarded to 10 years in prison in connection with the Barakat’s murder case.
In July 2017, a Cairo criminal court sentenced 28 people involved in Barakat’s assassination case to death, with only 15 defendants present in court for the verdict at the time, sources said.
The defendants were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit the crime, the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and the possession of explosive devices, it said.
No one claimed the attack against Barakat but the authorities pointed the finger at members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Since Morsi’s overthrow by the military in 2013, Egypt has struggled to quell a jihadist insurgency and cracked down on Islamists who backed him.
Hundreds of Morsi supporters have been sentenced to death, while the former president and top Brotherhood figures have also faced trial.
The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed and branded a terrorist organisation in December 2013, months after Morsi’s ouster.
(With inputs from agencies)