26 people have been sentenced to death in Egypt in absentia over allegations of ship attacks in the Suez Canal. The attackers were sentenced for participating in terrorist group targeting the waterway. The Egyptian Criminal Court in the capital announced its verdict, but one of the defendants will not receive death penalty because of his age (18-year-old).
All people tried in absentia usually are sentenced to the maximum allowable penalty for a specific crime. Usually, defendants get an automatic retrial. The harsh allegations of the possible terror group are necessary, planning attacks on vessels traversing the Suez Canal, security buildings, foreign tourists, Christians and police is a serious offence. Prosecutors are considering the facts that the members of terror groups were making rockets and explosive with the idea to attack various security headquarters.
The official allegations and the sentence of the defendants is for "founding and leading a terror group that aimed to attack people’s freedom, damage national unity and (attack) the Suez canal waterway". A connection with al-Qaeda is suspected, but it is not known if those sentenced are part of the terrorist group. The defendants planned attacks on ships passing through the Suez Canal last year and threatened to attack more ships.
VIDEO Published on Sep 4, 2013
RPG attack on commercial ship in the Suez Canal
Merchant ship passing the Suez Canal was attacked with rocket propelled grenade (RPG) on September 4, 2013. According to information the ship was identified as COSCO ASIA. It was revealed that the attack was conducted by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, called for an end to democracy and informed for future plans of more attacks against ships transiting the Suez canal.