Egypt police colonel gets 5 years jail at re-trial over deaths of 37 prisoners

August 13, 2015 18:18

CAIRO - An Egyptian police colonel was sentenced to a reduced five years in jail on Thursday in a re-trial over the deaths of 37 Islamist prisoners being transported to jail in an overcrowded van, lawyers and judicial sources said.

It was one of the most disputed incidents during a fierce security crackdown on Islamists after the military deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Thursday's verdict came a day before the second anniversary of the deaths of hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters when security forces stormed into two of their camps to disperse them.

A month after Morsi's ouster, the interior ministry announced that 37 men it described as Islamists died during what described as an attempted breakout from prison.

The prosecutor's office later said its investigations showed the 37 died while being transported to jail in an overcrowded police van into which tear gas was fired.

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