World Bulletin / News Desk
Four former officers in a now dissolved Egyptian security agency were sentenced in absentia to life in prison on Thursday for torturing to death a man during investigations into the bombing of a church on New Year's Day 2011.
A fifth officer, the only one to attend the trial, was jailed for 15 years for his role in the death of Mohamed Sayyid Bilal, whose body was returned to his family a day after his arrest showing signs of torture and burns.
Bilal, 32 at the time of his death, was a Salafi Muslim.
Many other Salafis were rounded up following the bombing in Alexandria which killed 23 people and has still not been explained. Habib el-Adli, the interior minister at the time, accused the Army of Islam, a Gaza-based group, of carrying out the attack, something it quickly denied.
Following the uprising against Mubarak's 30 years in power, conspiracy theories circulated widely in Egypt that Adli himself had ordered the bombing. Both Adli and Mubarak were sentenced to life in prison earlier this month over the deaths of hundreds of protesters killed in the uprising.
"These verdicts are the beginning of the cleansing of the interior ministry of the corrupt people who squandered the dignity of the Egyptian people for 30 years," said Khalaf Bayoumi, the lawyer for Bilal's family.
Those convicted on Thursday were all members of State Security, an agency tantamount to Egypt's Stasi that was a hated symbol of Mubarak's rule. Its reputation for brutality helped fuel the uprising against Mubarak.
Judge Mohamed Mustafa Tirana gave life sentences to Hossam al-Shenawy, Osama al-Kunaysi, Ahmed Mustafa Kamal and Mohamed Abdel Aleem. Mohamed Abdel Rahman al-Shemi, the only one of the accused in court, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
State Security was dissolved on March 15, weeks after Mubarak's Feb. 11 removal from power, after protesters stormed its headquarters.
US Secretary of State says Albania has made 'significant progress' in taking on its responsibilities as a NATO ally within the anti-ISIL coalition
'It requires opposition groups to stop fighting but it allows Russia to continue bombing terrorists which it insists is everyone, including civilians,' John McCain says
Russian president has taken a call from his US counterpart and both sides 'gave a positive evaluation' of the results of talks in Munich last week
Counter-terrorism services are now investigating the trio
Seeking privileges to benefit few to detriment of many creates environment for corruption, Pope Francis says
The nation, dogged by coups, violence and misrule since winning independence, could take a step towards rebirth if the polls go smoothly
'We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires,' US State Department spokesman says
A second national satellite will be launched by Turkmenistan
The little worn path is home to unique geological features and ancient lakes, remnants of the region’s wet period, which ended 4000 years ago.
With its stunning rock formations remnant of a wet period in the region dating back to its ending 4,000 years ago, the Ennedi plateau is seen as a contender for a heritage listing with UNESCO.
Ansar Dine, an armed group based in northern Mali, has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack that killed at least five UN peacekeepers
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh urges Cairo to open crossing with suffocating Gaza Strip 'on permanent basis'
A Palestinian girl dwho attempted to stab a soldier was killed by Israeli soldiers
A day of violent farmers' protests in Greece blazed on into the night as police fought demonstrators in the capital for the first time over pensions and reforms
'We do need to have peace [in Syria], we need to have negotiations and for that we need to stop bombings against the civilians,' Manuel Valls says