Officer accused of torturing Sayyed Belal to death acquitted

Alexandria Criminal Court acquitted Tuesday Hossam al-Shennawy, a former colonel with the dissolved State Security Investigation Services, who was accused of torturing Sayyed Belal, a Salafi Alexandria resident, to death before the January 25 Revolution.
Shennawy was sentenced in absentia to life in the same case in 2013. However, a retrial was ordered in the case, which has led to the officer being acquitted.
The Court of Cassation rejected in March 2014 a challenge by Osama al-Konayyessy, a former officer in the dissolved State Security Investigation Service, who is accused along with others of torturing Belal to death in 2011.
The court also withheld a verdict by the criminal court issued in 2013 that sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
In 2012, Konayyessy was sentenced to life in absentia before being retried in 2013, when the sentence was lightened to 15 years in prison.
Two other police officers, Mahmoud Abdel Aleem and Ahmed Mostafa Kamel, were cleared after the retrial in 2013.
Belal was being held pending investigations by state security into the New Year bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria that killed more than 20 people in 2011. The bombing took place weeks ahead of the eruption of the 2011 revolution, which then turned to calls for Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

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