The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Tuesday eight defendants to prison with sentences ranging from five years to life imprisonment, in the case known in the media as the “explosives cell”.
The eight defendants are alleged members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. Four of them are detained and three others are being tried in absentia, while the last was released pending trial.
The court sentenced one defendant to life imprisonment, while another received five years. Five defendants received 15-year prison sentences. The released defendant received two years imprisonment.
On Wednesday, the same court postponed the case of alleged members of the militant group Ansar Beit Al–Maqdis to 28 January, due to the absence of three of the 200 defendants.
The court also fined the officer responsible for escorting the defendants from the detention centre to the court, as well as general Hassan Al-Sohagy. The fine was EGP 1,000 each.
Investigations claimed that the defendants embraced the radical ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. The defendants are also accused of planning to “attack security points surrounding the Rabaa Al–Adaweya sit in, as well as targeting police officers working for the Homeland Security apparatus”.
Last week a military court in Assiut sentenced 184 defendants to life imprisonment on charges of rioting, road blocking, looting, and destroying artefacts in the Malawi Antiquities Museum in 2013 after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 was followed by a surge in militancy across the country. Since then, hundreds of alleged Muslim Brotherhood members have received preliminary death sentences in mass trials, widely condemned by international rights groups and governments. Egyptian authorities maintain that the judiciary is independent and that defendants are granted due process, insisting that the trials adhere to international standards.