Court / Presiding Judge
First Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Nagy Shehata
Second Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Muhammad Shereen Fahmy
On February 2, 2015, the court issued its verdict. On July 2, 2017, the court issued its verdict upon second review for some of the defendants.
The court sentenced 183 defendants to death, after preliminary death sentences had been issued to 188 defendants. The number dropped because two defendants had died, two defendants were acquitted, and a minor was instead handed down a 10-year sentence. Upon second review for some of the defendants, the court handed 20 defendants death sentences, 80 life sentences, and 34 15-year sentences; one minor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 21 defendants were acquitted.
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.