Egyptian Court Recommends Death Penalty for 31 over Assassination of Prosecutor
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A Cairo criminal court on Saturday recommended the death penalty for 31 people convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor, the most senior state official killed by militants in recent years.
The court set a verdict session for July 22, after referring its recommendation to the country's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding legally-required opinion.
Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo, an operation for which Egypt blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants, though both groups have denied it, Reuters reported.
The Interior Ministry released a video last year showing clips of several young men confessing and admitting going to Gaza for training from Hamas, though some of them later denied the accusations in court.
Egypt faces an insurgency led by Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed.
Daesh has also increasingly carried out attacks in Egypt targeting Christians in a spate of church bombings and shootings that have killed some 100 since December.
Barakat was the highest-ranking state official to die in a militant attack since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former military chief, ousted President Mohamed Mursi, a Brotherhood leader, in 2013.