EGYPT: MILITARY COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES ON 7 MILITANTS
March 24, 2015: An Egyptian military court upheld death sentences for seven people convicted of belonging to a Sinai-based militant group that bombed a military checkpoint in northern Cairo, a lawyer has said.
It is the first ruling of its kind by a military court since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013.
"Tuesday's court verdict is final; it's not subject to appeal," lawyer Ahmed Helmi said, adding that it was the Egyptian authorities' responsibility to execute the convicts.
A High Military Court upheld an October court ruling condemning seven people to death â including one tried in absentia â for instigating violence and belonging to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a militant group active in the northeastern quarter of the Sinai Peninsula.
The group changed its name last year to "Welayet Sinai" ("the State of Sinai") after swearing allegiance to the Daesh militant group.
Last August, an Egyptian military court referred seven defendants to the grand mufti, Egypt's top religious authority, to consider possible death sentences against them on charges that they belonged to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis and had killed six soldiers in an attack on an army checkpoint in March 2014.
The court also upheld life imprisonment terms for two others. (Sources: turkishweekly.net, 25/03/2015)