The Supreme State Security Court on Thursday sentenced Abdel Hameed Othman, a senior figure in the extremist group Gamaa Islamiya, to 50 years imprisonment.
Othman, known as “Abu Aqrab,” is charged with terrorism and the assassinations of security and police personnel.
The court referred the case to the Grand Mufti last June, a procedure traditionally taken directly before issuing a death sentence.
The trial began in February after a nearly three-year-detention period, spawned by a series of armed attacks against security officials in Assuit in the 1990s.
Othman was detained in 2008 after years at large.
Othman received two death sentences in absentia for orchestrating a terrorist cell affiliated with the Gamaa Islamiya group accused of attacking tourists and officers during the 80s and 90s.
During the trial, the defendant’s lawyers dismissed Othman's ability to commit such crimes due to an eyesight weakness condition, claiming the condition rendered it impossible for him to effectively commit the attacks he is accused of.
The trial is considered the first for a Gamaa Islamiya senior figure, since it renounced violence and subversion objectives years ago.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.