Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Argentina: The Kirchner era

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tunisia presidential elections: Final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's vote

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Holiday season: celebrating a secular Christmas

Read more

#THE 51%

Are toys really us?

Read more

ENCORE!

Child brides, the people of Syria and New York’s homeless

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Pakistan in mourning after school massacre

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Security law approved despite disruptions in Parliament

Read more

DEBATE

Wrecked Rouble: Putin Defiant as Currency Tumbles (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Wrecked Rouble: Putin Defiant as Currency Tumbles (part 1)

Read more

Africa

Egypt sentences 26 to death for alleged Suez Canal terror plot

© AFP

Latest update : 2014-02-26

An Egyptian court sentenced 26 people, all in absentia and all but one to death, on Wednesday over allegations of forming a terrorist group and targeting the vital Suez Canal water corridor.

The Cairo Criminal Court held one session before issuing its verdict since all defendants are on the run. Among the 26, one is below 18-year-old, a juvenile who will be exempted from the death penalty.

Defendants tried in absentia typically are convicted and receive the maximum sentence for a specific offense. However, they also usually get an automatic retrial.

The prosecutors charged the group with planning attacks on ships passing the canal last year, security buildings, foreign tourists, Christians and police.

Prosecutors also accused the defendants of making rockets and explosives while monitoring various security headquarters to plan attacks on them, the sources said.

The defendants were condemned for “founding and leading a terror group that aimed to attack people’s freedom, damage national unity and (attack) the Suez canal waterway,” an anonymous source told AFP.

An al-Qaeda-inspired group, Furqan Brigades, attacked vessels passing through the canal last year and have vowed to conduct more attacks in the future.

However, it was not clear if those sentenced on Wednesday are linked to that group.

Egypt has been hit with a wave of bombings and suicide attacks since the military ouster of Egypt’s first elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July. Morsi’s removal followed days of demonstrations by millions of Egyptians demanding he step down, accusing him of abusing his power.

After Morsi’s fall, the security forces unleashed a heavy crackdown on Morsi’s supporters who held mass demonstrations denouncing the military takeover and demanding that he be reinstated. Hundreds were killed in the summer and thousands jailed.

The interim government has labeled Morsi’s group, The Muslim Brotherhood, as terrorist. It says the Brotherhood orchestrated attacks including bombings. The Brotherhood denies the claims.

Most of the bombings have in fact been claimed by an al-Qaida-inspired group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis or the Champions of Jerusalem. Last year the group posted a video showing a masked gunman firing a rocket-propelled grenade, supposedly near the canal.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

Date created : 2014-02-26

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's army-backed government has resigned, PM says

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt police arrest former Morsi PM Hisham Kandil

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egyptian women jailed for pro-Morsi protest

    Read more

COMMENT(S)