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Death sentence for Egyptian policeman

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An Egyptian police officer convicted of killing 20 protesters during demonstrations that brought down Hosni Mubarak's government in February has been sentenced to death.

Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Monem was found guilty in his absence on Sunday of shooting dead "at random" 20 protesters on January 28, one of the most violent days of the uprising that lasted 18 days.

The criminal court in Cairo referred the case to the Grand Mufti, Egypt's religious authority who must approve all death sentences. Abdel-Monem has evaded capture and his present location is unknown.

The sentencing follows long jail terms given to Mubarak-era officials who have been found guilty of corruption in an ongoing campaign by the military-led government to address protesters' demands, including swift trial for people accused of wrongdoing.

Mubarak himself, his wife Suzanne and his powerful sons are being investigated for abuse of power and amassing illegally acquired wealth.

In May, Habib al-Adly, Egypt's former interior minister, was sentenced to 12 years in jail for money laundering and profiteering.

Al-Adly is accused of ordering police to fire upon pro-democracy protesters and is one of the most senior ministers from the former government to be put on trial.

Another former minister, Zoheir Garranah, who headed the tourism portfolio, was sentenced to five years after he was found guilty of handing out tourism licences illegally.


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