Court / Presiding Judge
Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Mohamed Shereen Fahmy
In August 2014, the prosecutor-general referred 23 alleged members of the Ansar al-Sharia Brigades to court for targeting police and military personnel. Since the court first began hearing the case, it has been adjourned multiple times. The case is still ongoing.
The case is still ongoing.
Summary of Reasoning
The defendants face a number of charges including accusations of extremism, targeting Christians, stirring chaos, and violence against state institutions, killing a policeman, and injuring 11 others. According to investigations, the primary suspect, al-Sayyid al-Sayyid Ata Morsy, allegedly formed the terrorist group to spread extremist thoughts, carry out attacks on military and police personnel, and target Copts. The investigations also concluded that the suspect allegedly helped the group carry out several terrorist operations, ordered members to fight in Syria, trained others on making bombs, and provided them with shelters.
On October 22, 2015, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 18 of the 23 defendants to one year in prison for insulting the judiciary during one of the prior court sessions in the same case.
Legal & Judicial Implications
In the wake of the ratification of the 2015 Counter-terrorism Law, cases involving terror-related charges are heard by specifically designated courts. There is concern that the concentration of terrorist cases in the hands of a few justices has resulted and may continue to result in disproportionately harsh sentences.