Prosecution releases 3 policemen during torture death investigations

Alexandria's prosecution decided late on Monday to release three officers from the disbanded State Security Investigation Services (SSIS) after interrogating them about whether they were involved torturing a Salafi man to death.

The family of Sayed Belal, 31, accused security authorities of torturing Belal to death during interrogations at a police station in January.

Police had accused Belal of involvement in the bombing of an Alexandria church on New Year's Eve that killed 23 and injured 97.

Prosecution also ordered the officers, Colonel Hossam al-Sherbeeny, Major Mahmoud Abdel Aleem and Major Osama al-Konayessy, to meet eyewitnesses who say they saw Belal being tortured to death.

State-run news agency MENA reported there was no consensus among witnesses about the officers.

One witness said one of the officers was among those who tortured Belal. However, the other witnesses did not confirm this and the prosecution then released them.

On Sunday, the prosecution decided to release Major Adham al-Rouby, an officer of the SSIS, following investigations for the same case. The officer submitted documents proving he was on vacation during Belal's torture.

Other suspects in the case include Major Mohamed al-Shimy, an officer at the National Security Authority's – which replaced the SSIS – bureau in Marsa Matrouh and a former SSIS agent in Alexandria, where he handled Salafi activities. He used the pseudonym Alaa Zeidan while interrogating suspects.

On Sunday, prosecutors extended Shimy's detention period for 15 more days pending investigations.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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