The Court of Cassation annulled on Monday the death sentences handed to six defendants accused of storming the Kerdasa Police Station, murdering at least 11 policemen and two civilians and mutilating their bodies in August 2013.
During the session, the prosecution requested the court’s approval of the defendants’ appeal, and called for the cancelation of the verdicts and the commencement of a retrial.
The Giza Criminal Court, presided over by Judge Nagy Shehata, had sentenced the defendants to death in February.
The incident in the case occurred the day the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins were violently dispersed, amid intense clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces.
Violence was not restricted to the Kerdasa village, but also spread to the nearby village of Nahia.
Following the incident, state media reported that policemen were tortured to death, and that the perpetrators were heavily armed.
Prosecution authorities said the attackers seized weapons and videotaped the attack, which became known as the “Kerdasa massacre”, to “humiliate” the police. Videos of the attack on the station and of the bodies of the dead officers were made available on the Internet.
A security raid was launched in Kerdasa nearly a month following the police station incident. The pretext of the operation was arresting suspects in the police massacre, as Kerdasa had reportedly fallen under the control of allegedly armed Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
Giza Deputy Security Chief Nabil Farag was killed during the operation. Police claimed the shooting came from within the village.
A militant campaign targeting the police and army has escalated since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. Policemen and soldiers have been killed in shootings and bombings in the Sinai peninsula, Greater Cairo and the Nile Delta.