The Alexandria Criminal Court acquitted a police officer who was accused of partaking in the killing of Sayed Belal, who was tortured to death in 2011 shortly before the 25 January Revolution.
Colonel Hossam Al-Shennawy, formerly of the State Security department at the Ministry of Interior, was acquitted by the court Tuesday after he was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia in June 2012.
He is one of five officers who were referred to trial over the case of torturing and killing Belal. All of them received five years in prison in addition to a EGP 10,000 fine.
Belal, a member of the Salafi Call group in Alexandria, was tortured to death by State Security Investigations Service officers and forced to confess to taking part in a 2011 Alexandria church bombing, according to investigations.
During the New Year’s Eve celebrations in 2011, a car bomb went off outside the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, killing 23 people and injuring 97. State Security arrested Belal and charged him with the attack but failed to produce any evidence.
Two other officers were previously acquitted: Mahmoud Abdel Aleem who appealed the initial sentence and was acquitted in December 2012 and Mohamed Al-Shemy who was acquitted in May 2015.
The Alexandria court will start a retrial in the case of officer Osama Al-Konaisy on 24 February. Al-Konaisy’s 15-year prison sentence was also cancelled in May 2015.