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Egypt Sentences 28 to Death for Killing Top Prosecutor in 2015 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A policeman secures the site of a car bomb attack on the convoy of Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat near his house at Heliopolis district in Cairo in 2015. (Reuters)

Twenty-eight people have been sentenced to death on Saturday in Egypt for the murder of the country’s top prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015.

Barakat was killed in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo, an operation which Egypt blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants.

Both groups have denied it.

The attack was spurred by extremist calls for attacks on the judiciary to avenge a crackdown against them.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police later said they had arrested the perpetrators, charging they were members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Cairo criminal court also sentenced 15 defendants to life in prison in the same case, while a further eight received 15 years, and 15 others were handed 10 years, security and judicial officials said on Saturday.

The death sentences have already been approved by the mufti, Egypt’s official interpreter of Islamic law, whose opinion is legally required, but not binding.

The rulings can still be appealed.

Egypt has struggled to quell an extremist insurgency since the military overthrew Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.

Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of Morsi supporters to death since his overthrow, but many have appealed and won new trials.

Morsi and other top figures of his Muslim Brotherhood have also faced trial.