The Cassation Court suspended deaths sentences previously issued against five defendants on Saturday, in a case publicly known as the “October terrorist cell,” state-run news agency MENA reported.
The defendants were arrested on 29 January 2014. In September 2014, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to death by hanging, and two other defendants to life imprisonment. They filed appeals against verdicts issued against them by the criminal court.
The Cassation Court postponed the decision for their appeal in December 2015, then again in February, before suspending the verdicts on Saturday. The court has ordered a re-trial of the case. The defendants were convicted of forming a terrorist cell targeting police and army forces, in addition to persecuting Coptic Christians.
They were found guilty of shooting and killing policeman Mohamed Taha Sayed in front of the Church of the Virgin Mary in 6th of October City on 28 January 2014.
According to investigations reported by state media, the defendants carried out their ‘terrorist activities’ between October 2013 and January 2014. Five of them were convicted of first-degree murder in the case.
Other charges included advocating for for obstruction of the constitution, assaulting personal freedoms of citizens, and disturbing national unity.
Attacks on police and army personnel have been prevalent since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.