Mon, Mar 31, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Egyptian court gives death sentences to two Morsi backers

AP, CAIRO

An Alexandria court sentenced two supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to death on Saturday for throwing two people off the roof of a building during the violent protests that ensued after the Islamist leader’s ouster last year, according to Egypt’s state news agency.

The agency said the court in Egypt’s second-largest city found the men guilty of murdering a child and a young man in during mass protests staged there by demonstrators demanding Morsi’s reinstatement after he was removed from power by the military.

The roof incident happened on July 5 last year, two days after the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood politician. It was one of the most dramatic acts of violence on a day in which 16 other people were killed in the coastal city.

Judge Sayed Abdel-Latif said he would issue the verdict against another 60 defendants charged with violence that day in another two months. It was not clear why the ruling was split into two.

The child killed was nine-year-old Hamada Badr, who witnesses — including a foreign journalist — say was stabbed before being thrown off the roof. The second victim was a man in his twenties who was also hurled to his death, after which Morsi supporters were seen beating his lifeless body.

Hamada Badr’s father, Badr Hassouna, said the verdict was partial vindication, “but I want all the Brotherhood leadership tried and sentenced to death.”

Video footage of the incidents was repeatedly aired on national TV and showed one of the defendants roaming the roof raising a black flag often used by Islamic militants.

Following Saturday’s verdict, defendants in a cage in court raised the four-finger sign that has become a symbol of defiance associated with Morsi supporters. Families were not allowed in the courtroom and had to wait outside amid tight security.

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