Security officials acquitted of killing Beni Suef protesters to be retried

Public Prosecutor Talaat Abdallah approved an appeal against the acquittal granted to army officials and police officers accused of killing protesters in Beni Suef.

On 15 January, Beni Suef Criminal Court cleared Major General Ahmed Shawqy — the governorate’s former security chief — and 11 police officers of charges implicating them in the deaths of 32 protesters in the cities of Beba, Samasta and Nasser on 28-29 January 2011.

An appeal was filed against the acquittal, claiming that there were deficiencies in the case and due process was violated. With Abdallah’s approval of the appeal, the case will be referred to the Court of Cassation, which will set a date for its ruling.

The court had earlier postponed the last session in the trial in order to hear the testimony of former Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin — Beni Suef’s public security chief in 2011 —and Giza Security Chief Ahmed Salem al-Naghy, who later drafted public security reports.

Several security officers nationwide have been acquitted of similar charges.

The Court of Cassation previously ordered the retrial of former President Hosni Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his top security deputies after prosecutors challenged verdicts clearing them of some charges related to protesters’ deaths. Mubarak and Adly also appealed their life sentences.

President Mohamed Morsy had ordered a fact-finding committee to look for new evidence that could convict Mubarak and Adly on other charges.

At least 800 protesters were killed and thousands were injured during the popular uprising that led to Mubarak's downfall on 11 February 2011.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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