Egypt police get 10 years for killing of activist

CAIRO (AP) – An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced two policemen to 10 years in prison each for the 2010 killing of a political activist whose slaying was one of the sparks that led to the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak the following year.

The sentencing was the result of a retrial in the landmark case of the beating to death in the port city of Alexandria of 28-year-old Khaled Said.

Photographs of the dead Said’s severely beaten face were posted on the Internet and became a rallying cry against rampant police brutality under Mubarak.

The two policemen – Awad Suliman and Mahmoud Salah – had previously been convicted and handed sentences of seven years but that conviction was later overturned and a new trial was ordered.

In a separate development, prosecutors released the son of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi – Mubarak’s successor – after he agreed to give samples for a drug test. According to the state MENA news agency, 20-year-old university freshman Abdullah Morsi was freed late Sunday after agreeing to give blood and urine samples for the test.

The young Morsi was detained on Saturday on suspicion of drug possession. He was with a friend in a parked car that was searched by a police patrol east of Cairo. Officers reportedly found two rolled hashish cigarettes in the vehicle.

Abdullah’s older brother, Osama, had rejected the accusations, calling them fabricated.

Morsi was ousted in July last year by the military and faces a multitude of trials on charges that carry the death penalty. He was in office for a year when he was removed by military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Mubarak himself faces two trials: a retrial over the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that toppled his 29-year rule and a second one, on charges that he and his two sons took for personal use state funds set aside for the upkeep and maintenance of presidential palaces.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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