23 May 2011

Egyptian policeman sentenced to death for murders

9:30 am on 23 May 2011

A court in Egypt has sentenced a police officer to death in absentia for killing 20 protesters during the uprising against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

Mohammed al-Sonni was found guilty of having shot dead "at random" 20 demonstrators and wounding 15 others to fend off a raid on a police station on 28 January, one of the bloodiest days of the revolt.

The court asked the mufti of the republic, Ali Gomaa, who is tasked with interpreting Islamic law for Egypt's government, to confirm the sentence as required by Egyptian law.

According to an official toll, 846 people were killed and thousands injured in the uprising which toppled president Hosni Mubarak on 11 February.