Cairo: An Egyptian court Thursday confirmed earlier death sentences against ten jihadists convicted of setting up a group linked to Al Qaida and acquitted the brother of the terrorist network’s chief in the same case.
Mohammad, the brother of Ayman Al Zawahiri, was pronounced innocent along with 18 others in the trial that started last year.
The Cairo Criminal Court also sentenced 20 co-defendants to life in prison and gave 19 others terms ranging from 15 to one year in jail.
All the rulings can be appealed.
The defendants were charged with establishing a terrorist group linked to Al Qaida to target Egypt’s security forces and Christian minority, as well as planning terror operations following the army’s 2013 ouster of former president Mohammad Mursi.
Eighteen of the accused were tried in absentia.
However, Mohammad Al Zawahiri is unlikely to walk free soon as the court Thursday referred him to prosecution to question him on the alleged establishment of another terror cell. Mohammad, now 62, joined Egypt’s militant Jihad group in the 1970s.
He fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He was detained and extradited to Egypt where he was imprisoned until he was released following the 2011 uprising that brought Islamists to power.
Egyptian authorities re-arrested him in August 2013 as part of an crackdown that has targeted Islamists.