9 Egyptian policemen sentenced for beating vendor to death

An Egyptian court has sentenced nine police officers to three years in prison after their conviction for beating to death a street vendor held at a police station

CAIRO -- An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced nine police officers to three years in prison after their conviction for beating to death a street vendor held at a police station.

The Cairo Criminal Court also acquitted a police officer in the case that dates back to November 2016 when the 53-year-old Magdy Maken, a fish cart vendor, was arrested after an altercation with a policeman in Cairo’s middle-class neighborhood of el-Ameriyah.

Hours after his arrest, Maken’s lifeless body was brought to a nearby hospital with "torture marks,” his lawyer Ali al-Halawani told The Associated Press at the time.

The defendants, including a police captain, collapsed in the courtroom, and some of them cried after the judge uttered the verdict.

Saturday’s verdict can be appealed before a higher court.

The death of Coptic Christian Maken triggered public outrage over police abuse at the time. Anger at police brutality helped spark the 2011 uprising, and rights groups say mistreatment and torture are still widespread in Egyptian prisons, allegations the government largely denies.

On Thursday, Italian prosecutors formally put four high-ranking members of Egypt’s security forces under investigation over the 2016 kidnapping, torture and killing of Giulio Regeni, an Italian doctoral research student in Cairo.

The four suspects are being investigated for alleged kidnapping and one of them also is being investigated for aggravated injury and aggravated murder, while the investigation against another member of Egypt’s national security force was shelved due to insufficient proof.

Egyptian prosecutors have insisted that Regeni’s killer remains unknown, with authorities alleging that the Cambridge University doctoral student fell victim to ordinary robbers.

o ordinary robbers.