Court / Presiding Judge
First Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Nagy Shehata
Second Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Muhammad Shereen Fahmy
Second Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Shabeeb al-Dumrany
Final Review: Court of Cassation
On February 2, 2015, the court issued its verdict. In February 2016, the Court of Cassation accepted the defendants' appeal and ordered a retrial. On July 2, 2017, the court issued its verdict upon second review for some of the defendants. In September 2018, the Court of Cassation denied an appeal filed by 135 defendants. On June 10, 2019, the Court of Cassation refused an appeal filed by 15 defendants.
In February 2015, the court sentenced 183 defendants to death, 34 of them were sentenced in absentia and a minor was handed down a 10-year sentence. After the Court of Cassation accepted the appeal filed by 149 defendants and upon second review, the court handed down 20 death sentences, 80 life sentences, and 34 15-year sentences; one minor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 21 defendants were acquitted. In September 2018, the Court of Cassation refused an appeal filed by 135 defendants and affirmed their sentences. In June 2019, the Court of Cassation refused an appeal filed by 15 defendants and affirmed their sentences as well.
Summary of Reasoning
The case dates back to the storming of the Kerdasa Police Station by protesters and militants in the wake of the Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-in dispersals in August 2013. The storming of the police station led to the death of 11 police officers and two civilians. When reading the sentence upon second review, the judge stated: “Some committed murder themselves, others stole or burned; some guarded the road so the assailants could commit their crimes and some blocked the roads to prevent help from coming; some incited citizens against the military and police using mosque speakers and microphones on the streets. If it were not for all of that, these crimes would not have been committed.”
When the initial verdict was handed down, entities including the European Union and Human Rights Watch publicly spoke out against the case and demanded that a fair trial be granted to all defendants.
Legal & Judicial Implications
Because the case is a mass trial in which a number of defendants were prosecuted collectively, the case raises numerous implications regarding the right to a fair trial and due process. Further, the involvement of Judge Nagy Shehata and his public statements condemning opposition figures and members of the Muslim Brotherhood even outside the courtroom raises serious questions on whether the defendants could have ever been granted a fair trial.