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Egypt Court Refers 31 People to Mufti over Public Prosecutor Murder | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptian policemen stand guard at the site of a June 29, 2015 bombing in Cairo that killed Egypt’s top prosecutor Hisham Barakat. (AP/Eman Helal)

A Cairo criminal court on Saturday referred a death penalty recommendation for 31 people convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of Egypt’s top prosecutor to the Grand Mufti for a non-binding legally-required opinion.

The court set a verdict session for July 22 after it recommended the death penalty for the accused.

It is expected to reaffirm the death sentences and issue its verdict on the 36 other defendants in the case. Of the 67 defendants, 15 are at large.

Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in June 2015 in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo, an operation for which Egypt blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants, though both groups have denied it.

Barakat was the highest-ranking state official killed by militants in recent years.