Breaking news: Egyptian Supreme court convicts Hezbollah suspects sentencing 4 to life.
|Wednesday, April 28,2010 13:00|
Breaking news: Egyptian Supreme court convicts Hezbollah suspects. Four life sentences and others to 15 years.
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has convicted 26 men of planning to attack a number of sites inside the country and with links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization. Many observers say the case is part of the Sunni Arab world’s concerns over the influence of the Lebanese organization and Iran’s influence.
Judge Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa said the investigation proved the group intended “to strike Egypt’s economy, destroy the bonds between its people and create chaos and instability throughout the country.”
A number of those convicted, including Lebanese, Egyptian, Palestinian and one Sudanese, were sentenced in absentia.
The sentences range from between 6 months and life in jail.
Prosecutor Abdel Maged Mahmoud said the charges for the men ranged from “conspiracy to murder, spying for a foreign organization with the intent of conducting terrorist attacks and weapons possession.”
Mahmoud’s office said in a statement that the men confessed to buying rifles, explosives and rocket propelled grenades and to storing bags and belts filled with powerful plastic explosives.
The men were convicted in controversial Emergency State Security courts.
The use of the Emergency State Security Courts has once again reminded Islamists of President Hosni Mubarak’s campaign against the violent Gama’a Islamiya in the late 1980s and 1990s. These courts were part of the judicial process of trying, convicting and jailing Islamists in the country.
Similar to military courts, the Emergency State Security Courts were established under the country’s emergency laws in 1981 and have been routinely used to curtail so-called terrorist activities in the country. Like military courts, the verdicts issued are final with no recourse for appeal. Only a presidential pardon can overturn the rulings.