Death sentences were handed down in Cairo Monday to eight people convicted of attempting to assassinate Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2014.
The eight were among 292 people, alleged to be Islamic State terrorists, arrested and accused of involvement in a plot to kill Sisi and former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia during a Muslim pilgrimage.
The remaining defendants will hear preliminary verdicts on March 6.
The Cairo criminal court issued the verdicts after the eight men were accused of additional crimes. They include the assassination of three judges in North Sinai in May 2016, and an attack on a Sinai hotel that killed two judges supervising parliamentary elections, two policemen and a citizen.
The defendants were also accused of a 2015 attack on an Egyptian army battalion headquarters in North Sinai that killed 30 soldiers.
Prosecutors said in court the defendants received IS training in Iraq and Syria.
The death sentences Monday were referred to Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, Egypt’s grand mufti, as required by Egyptian law. As the highest official of religious law in the country, he can offer a non-binding opinion regarding the sentences.
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