Court acquits police officer in Sayed Bilal murder

The Alexandria Criminal Court on Thursday acquitted police officer Mahmoud Abdel Alim of killing Sayed Bilal, a Salafi man who died in police custody in January 2011, reversing an earlier ruling.

In June, the court sentenced in absentia four officers in the now-dissolved State Security Investigation Services to 25 years in prison for torturing Bilal to death, including Alim. Another officer, Major General Abdel Rahman al-Shimy, who was present for the hearing, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Alim requested a retrial, which began on 20 November.

Bilal was arrested following the New Year’s Day attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria in 2011, which left at least 23 people dead.  

“The defendant violated the sanctity of the victim's body to force him to confess [bombing] the Two Saints Church,” the prosecutor said during the hearing Thursday, demanding the most severe punishment.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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