An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced five supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to death on charges of killing policemen, a judicial source said. The men were convicted of playing a role in the killing of fourteen policemen in the town of Kerdasa on the outskirts of Giza in August 2013.


Egypt political groups, officials ‘close to an agreement’ on elections laws says Prime Minister
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said Thursday that the government and political forces are getting close to seeing eye to eye on proposed amendments to laws regulating parliamentary elections after the poll was shelved last month due to legal obstacles. Eleven political groups attended the Thursday meeting including the Wafd party, Conference party, Free Egyptians party and Egyptian Social Democratic party, with the absence of the sole Islamist player in the country’s politics –Nour Party. “There is a consensus amongst the political forces on the importance of the oversight of the Constitutional Court on laws governing the electoral process,” Mahlab said. He added that Egypt’s government did not have a say in postponing the parliamentary elections, saying his cabinet is “dedicated” to carrying them out soon. President of the Reform and Development Party Mohamed Esmat al-Sadat said he expects the government to respond to the proposals of political forces and will hold elections as soon as possible in line with the Supreme Constitutional Court’s recommendations. [Ahram Online, SIS, 4/2/2015]

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Egypt court sentences five to death for Kerdasa police killings
An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced five supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to death on charges of killing policemen, a judicial source said. The men were convicted of playing a role in the killing of fourteen policemen in the town of Kerdasa on the outskirts of Giza in August 2013, during the unrest following the ouster Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The court is scheduled to issue its final verdict on May 4, after the Mufti provides his non-binding opinion. They were previously sentenced to death—in absentia—alongside 178 others last February. The retrial procedures of the defendants were repeated following their arrests, as per Egyptian laws. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/2/2015]

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  • Trial of twenty-three protesters over US embassy clashes resumes | Egypt Independent
  • Court upholds jail sentence against sixteen Brotherhood members | SIS
  • Cabinet clashes retrial postponed to April 11 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Egypt has repaid $9.4 billion to foreign energy partners
An Egyptian petroleum ministry spokesman announced that Egypt repaid foreign energy firms $9.37 billion in accumulated debt in the past nine months. The remaining outstanding debt Egypt owes to foreign oil and gas companies is estimated at $3.3 billion. Egypt is currently trying to tackle the country’s worst energy crisis which predicts rolling power cuts in the summer, caused by fuel shortfalls at power plants and increasing demand. To procure energy for running power plants in the summer, Egypt recently contracted with five foreign companies to import 90 shipments of fuel  [The Cairo Post, 4/3/2015]

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Ibrahim Eissa’s program suspended on MBC
Satellite channel, MBC Misr, issued a statement Thursday announcing the suspension of a talk show hosted by journalist Ibrahim Eissa. MBC’s management cited “low production” and “unsuitable content” as the reasons behind the decision to cancel the show. MBC Misr had obtained the program through a third party, OSN Company, and had no direct contract with Eissa, it added. The Saudi-owned MBC Misr had also previously suspended Bassem Youssef’s satirical program, El Bernameg, during Egypt’s presidential elections so as not to “influence public opinion. Youssef later decided to take the show off the air, saying that MBC Misr had come under pressure to halt it, though he would not say from whom. [Egypt Independent, 4/2/2015]

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Egypt militant group claims responsibility for Sinai attack on soldiers
An Egyptian militant group allied with Islamic State, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility on Friday for attacks on military checkpoints. According to an updated death toll, the attacks left twenty-two dead, including eighteen soldiers and four civilians, a medical source in North Sinai said Thursday. The source said more than thirty others, including civilians and soldiers, were wounded.
According to security sources, thirty-five suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militants were killed in military aerial raids on North Sinai late Thursday. [Reuters, 4/3/2015]

Policeman shot dead in Egypt’s Fayoum
A policeman was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Friday in the Fayoum governorate in Upper Egypt. The low-ranking thirty-year-old policeman, who was not named, was attacked on the Cairo-Fayoum highway by three gunmen on motorcycles, and died shortly after. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/3/2015]

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Countries condemn Sinai terror attacks
A number of countries condemned Sinai terrorist attacks on Thursday that left scores dead. In a statement, the US State Department denounced the attacks saying, “The United States remains steadfast in its support of Egypt’s efforts to combat terrorism in the Sinai and throughout the country, and we will continue to work closely together to address shared threats to regional security.” The US Embassy in Cairo also issued a statement condemning Thursday terrorist attacks, stressing US support for Egypt as it combats terrorism in Sinai and throughout the country. In a cable to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah strongly condemned these “heinous terrorist acts” which target innocent civilians, and undermine the security and stability of Egypt. French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romain Nadal said in a statement that France stresses its support to the government and people of Egypt in fighting terrorism. The Bahraini Foreign Ministry denounced the attack, affirming Bahrain’s support of Egypt’s endeavors to achieve stability and peace.  The Moroccan Foreign Ministry also condemned the attacks, reiterating its rejection of such cowardly terror acts. Additionally, Al-Azhar and Egypt’s Mufti also condemned the terror attacks. [SIS, 4/3/2015]

Egypt’s Sisi meets with South African president
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on Thursday means of expanding bilateral cooperation. Zuma arrived in Egypt on Wednesday, after a short trip to Algeria, at the invitation of Sisi, the South African foreign ministry said in a statement. Zuma invited his Egyptian counterpart to the African Union Summit, to be held in South Africa and Sisi extended an invitation to Zuma to attend the inauguration of the New Suez Canal. Zuma expressed his country’s aspiration to foster cooperation and coordination with Egypt through the activation of the Joint Commission, established in 1995, to identify areas of cooperation and encourage the private sector in both countries to work together, Egypt’s Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said. Sisi emphasized the importance of holding the Joint Commission in Cairo in the near future, and expanding areas of cooperation covered by the committee to include political, economic and military aspects, Youssef added. [Aswat Masriya, SIS, APA, 4/3/2015]

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