Two men’s execution sentences were referred to the Grand Mufti of the Republic for approval on Saturday.
Video footage showed the two Islamists throwing others off a roof in the Alexandria district of Sidi Gaber in July, when violent clashes broke two days after former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The men’s actions resulted in one death, according to the Ministry of Interior.
Alexandria Criminal Court found the two defendants guilty of murder, attempted murder, willful injury, arson, deliberate destruction, possession of firearms and blades, inciting rioting, blocking public transportation, disturbing the public peace, joining a terrorist group, “thuggery”, disabling state facilities, spreading chaos and terrorising citizens, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
The Mufti is required to approve all death penalty verdicts before they can be carried out.
Sixty-one other defendants also stand trial for violence that broke out in Sidi Gaber in July, and the court’s verdict is expected to be issued on 19 May.
Following last July’s deadly clashes, East Alexandria Prosecution issued arrest warrants for 21 Islamist leaders accused of inciting the violence. The arrest warrants were issued for Muslim Brotherhood Supreme guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Khairat El-Shater, former deputy governor Hassan Al-Brince, conservative preacher Safwat Hegazy, Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya member Assem Abdel Maged and deputy Freedom and Justice Party chairman Essam El-Erian. They are all currently detained on other charges and each face trials for a number of accusations amid the ongoing security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
Last week, Minya Criminal Court handed down the death penalty to 529 people accused of attacking a police station last summer. The sentence was largely criticised by the international community. Human Rights Watch called the trial a “sham”, citing procedural problems, while the European Union and the United States Department of State also expressed shock at the verdict.