- Middle East/North Africa
The Criminal Court of Alexandria on Monday acquitted another officer from the now-dissolved state security apparatus who had been charged with the killing of Sayyed Belal in 2011.
The court acquitted Captain Ahmed Mostafa Kamel, a state security officer, after an earlier ruling from 21 June 2012 had sentenced him to life.
That ruling had given a life sentence to Kamel, as well as to Osama al-Konayessy, Hossam Ibrahim al-Shennawy, and Mohamed Abdel Alim, all four of whom were tried in absentia. Mohamed Abdel Rahman al-Sheemy, a fifth officer also charged in the case, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Abdel Alim was acquitted in December 2012 and Konayessy's sentence was reduced in April 2013 to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of LE10,000.
According to news reports, Shennawy and Sheemy have both appealed and seek a retrial in the case.
Belal, a 31-year-old Salafi, was arrested following a New Year's Day attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria in 2011, which left at least 23 dead. He died in detention.
His family has accused security authorities of torturing Belal to death during interrogations at a police station in January.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm