Strict prison sentences issued to 6 in attempted murder of judge

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Cairo Criminal Court issued prison sentences on Wednesday, including life in prison, against six defendants accused of a murder attempt against a judge, state media reported.

Four defendants were sentenced to life in jail, two of them in absentia. Another two defendants received 15-year prison terms. They were charged with attempted murder, belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, and possession of unlicensed weapons.

In May 2015, Judge Moataz Khafaga, head of the Giza Criminal Court, survived an attempt on his life after a car bomb exploded in front of his house in Helwan.

Khafaga was looking into several cases involving terrorism suspects and members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

Among the cases he handled was the trial of 20 defendants accused of belonging to an illegal armed group, “Ajnad Misr”, operating against security agents in Egypt, as well as the trial of 31 defendants accused of killing Shi’a cleric Hassan Shehata and three others.

The judge previously sentenced 12 defendants to death, five to life in prison, and one person acquitted of charges for the killing of former Giza security chief Nabil Farrag in Kerdasa in 2014. The verdict was later challenged.

Khafaga also handed five defendants death penalties on charges of forming a terrorist cell in 6th of October City and targeting and killing security officers. The verdict was upheld in September 2014.

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