From death row to 5 years, policeman’s sentence eased

A Cairo policeman sentenced to death for killing 18 and injuring three protesters last year received a dramatically reduced sentence on appeal. 

Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday changed Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel Moneim's sentence to five years in prison for killing protesters outside the Zawya al-Hamra police station during the January revolution.

The same court handed down the death sentence to Abdel Moneim, also known as Mohamed al-Sunni, in absentia in May last year, making it the first conviction in the deaths of hundreds of protesters. Evidence presented to the court showed Sunni shot protesters randomly on 28 January 2011.

During the previous trial session, Sunni’s defense team demanded he be cleared of all charges, saying he was defending lives and possessions.

The fugitive policeman turned himself in on 15 January this year. Sunni claims he is being used as a scapegoat by the police and the Interior Ministry.

Cairo Criminal Court had also given Sunni several other sentences in absentia on similar charges, including two death sentences.

The prosecution said in those cases that investigators proved that he intentionally killed 18 people by firing a hail of bullets.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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