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Egyptian Prosecutor General Assassinated on Eve of Anniversary of Morsi Overthrow

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Mary Chastain reports: An explosion has killed Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat and injured at least seven more people on Monday morning in Cairo.

Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the health ministry, said Barakat passed away after surgeries. Ghaffar had previously stated he did not believe the prosecutor had suffered life-threatening injuries.

A witness spoke to Daily News Egypt:

A Heliopolis resident told Daily News Egypt they heard the explosion early Monday, and stepped onto their balcony to see a damaged motorcycle.

The witness also said there was an exploded vehicle, which according to the testimony, was Barakat’s security vehicle. The witness added that surrounding vehicles were in flames.

The damages on the attack scene included seven other injuries from Barakat’s staff and passengers, in addition to damages to 35 cars and nine houses in the area of the explosion.

[Read more at Breitbart and Daily News Egypt]

No group has yet to take responsibility for the attack. A group called Giza Popular Resistance claimed it first, but someone removed it from their Facebook page and the Twitter account denounced the post. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Sentenced to Death

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Saturday’s decision is latest in a series of mass trials that have led to death penalty verdicts against the leadership and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO— Tamer El-Ghobashy and Dahlia Kholaif write: The decision is the harshest of multiple sentences given to Mr. Morsi and underscores the breadth of current President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s crackdown on his chief political opponents, the Muslim Brotherhood.

The court’s preliminary verdict Saturday is subject to review by the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, whose opinion isn’t legally binding but is traditionally adopted by the court.

“The death penalty has become the favorite tool for the Egyptian authorities to purge the political opposition.”

— Amnesty International

A final verdict based his opinion will be delivered June 2 but will be open to appeals, which can take years in Egypt’s clogged judicial system.

Mr. Morsi has already been sentenced to 20 years in prison last month in a separate case in which he was found guilty of fomenting violence during a series of protests in 2012 that dogged his year in office.

The former Egyptian president was among 106 members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood sentenced to death on Saturday, including the group’s spiritual guide Mohammed Badie and prominent Islamic scholar, Youssef al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

The decision—broadcast on state television as Mr. Morsi and some of co-defendants smiled defiantly from inside the caged dock used to hold the accused—was received quietly in Egypt. However, authorities said it may have inspired a violent response in the restive Sinai Peninsula where security forces have struggled to contain a low-level Islamist insurgency.

Hours after the verdict was delivered, unknown gunmen attacked a vehicle carrying several judges and aides in the northern Sinai town of al-Arish, killing three judges, a driver, and wounding three others, according to Egypt’s state news agency.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the state news agency quotes unnamed security officials saying the attack may have been retaliation for the verdict against Mr. Morsi. Read the rest of this entry »