In a session on Tuesday, Giza Criminal Court headed by Sameh Dawoud passed fifteen-year prison sentences to 233 defendants involved in the Rabaa Dispersal case, and acquitted other 109 defendants, local media reported.
The court further sentenced 22 defendants to three years in prison, and lifetime sentences to 23 others. The sentences issued during Tuesday’s session included only around 400 defendants.
The defendants were accused of unauthorised assembly, use of force, premeditated murder, and the possession of weapons and bombs.
After the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, supporters of the brotherhood and other Islamist groups held protest sit-ins, the biggest of these at Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square.
The Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in was violently dispersed by the armed forces in August 2013, and hundreds were arrested, most of whom are currently being tried. Protesters were demonstrating against the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The first court session for the case has started on 13 December 2015 and resumed again on March. In both sessions, the case was postponed, as the court incarceration area was not big enough to include the defendants.
The last court session in the case was on 2 January and was postponed due to absence of witnesses whom the court fined EGP 1,000 for not being present during the session, Al-Wafd newspaper reported.
Photojournalist Mahmoud Shawkan was arrested among other journalists who were later released. However, Shawkan’s detention continued despite filing all the required documents to the court proving that he was assigned to cover the sit-in dispersal.
Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) supreme guide Mohamed Badie and many of its most prominent members, such as Mohamed El-Beltagy, Essam Al-Eryan, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Bar, and Osama Yasin, are among defendants in the case.