Egypt overturns death sentence of 149 over lynchings of 11 policemen

An Egyptian court overturned Wednesday the death sentence against 149 charged with lynchings of 11 police officers in August 2013 following the army's removal of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, state-owned al-Ahram newspaper reported online.

Following an appeal, the defendants, who received the verdicts in May last year, will stand retrial before a different court, the report added.

Thirty-four others in the same case who were not in custody could not legally be granted a retrial as they were sentenced to death in absentia.

The 183 individuals, mainly supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood group aligned with Morsi, had been found guilty of an attack on a police station on the western outskirts of Cairo in apparent retaliation for the police's deadly dispersal of Islamist protest camps on the same day.

A widely seen video from the scene at the Kerdassa police station in Giza province showed dead and injured police officers sitting lined up against a wall as they were abused by a crowd.

Only one of the station's staff survived. Two civilians caught up in the attack were also killed.

The lynchings took place hours after police broke up the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in in eastern Cairo. More than 800 Islamist protesters were killed in the operation, according to a death toll compiled by Human Rights Watch.

Supporters of Egypt's first elected president, Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, had camped at the site for six weeks. The protest was mounted after then army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi deposed Morsi in the wake of mass protests calling for the president to resign.

Last update: Wed, 03/02/2016 - 13:13

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