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Egyptian court sentences 31 to death in prosecutor's case

Egyptian court sentences 31 to death in prosecutor's case

Egypt blamed the Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants for Mr Barakat's killing, although both groups have denied they were involved.

An Egyptian court on Saturday handed down a preliminary judgment condemning 31 Islamists to death for their part in the 2015 assassination of the country's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat (pictured on poster in above photo).

Saturday's sentences were referred to Egypt's grand mufti for a non-binding opinion, as required by Egyptian law.

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The 30 defendants were among a group of 67 people accused of involvement in the attack, the source said on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media.

However, Barakat's driver, Nasser Rifaat, who was slightly injured in the attack, told investigators soon after that the prosecutor died after being hit by a auto in the aftermath of the explosion.

Hisham Barakat, who was 63 years old when he was appointed attorney general by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi following a military coup against Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, was assassinated in a June 2015 terror attack, Efe news reported.

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Cairo regularly accuses Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, of supporting attacks in Egypt.

The court set 22 July to issue its final verdict on the 31 as well as the rest of the defendants - 36 others - in the trial.

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