Middle East

Egypt Hisham Barakat killing: 30 sentenced to death

A picture taken on July 10, 2013 shows Egyptian state prosecutor Hisham Barakat sitting at his office in Cairo. Image copyright STR/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Egyptian state prosecutor Hisham Barakat died in a car bomb attack

A court in Cairo has recommended the death penalty for 30 people convicted of involvement in the killing of Egypt's top public prosecutor.

Hisham Barakat was assassinated in a car bomb attack in June 2015.

He was the most senior state official to be killed by militants in recent years.

Mr Barakat had sent thousands of Islamists to trial since the overthrow of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-backed government in 2013.

Hundreds of Islamists were sentenced to death or life imprisonment, as part of a crackdown on supporters of the banned group.

Egypt blamed the Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants for Mr Barakat's killing, although both groups have denied they were involved.

Last year the Interior Ministry released a video showing several men confessing to the killing, and saying they went to Gaza for training from Hamas. Some of them later denied the allegations in court and said they had been tortured.

The court's recommendations will now be sent to Egypt's highest religious authority, the grand mufti.

All death sentences have to be sent to the grand mufti for his opinion on whether they should stand. But even when the grand mufti gives his approval, convictions are still open to appeal.

Image copyright KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Egyptian security forces pictured in 2015 at the scene of the bomb attack

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