Days before the third anniversary of Khaled Saeed’s death, the Alexandria Criminal Court has temporarily released the two police officers accused of killing him, as the trial adjourns until 6 July.
On 20 December of last year, The Court of Cassation accepted the appeal of the two police officers, Mahmoud Salah and Awad Suleiman, whom the Alexandria Criminal Court had sentenced to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Saeed was killed in June 2010, and his death led to a major wave of protests around the country.
His killing became a symbol of police brutality and is widely believed to have triggered the 25 January revolution. The medical examiner’s report on his death also sparked widespread controversy after murder and torture were ruled out as causes of death. Initial medical reports claimed Saeed had died of asphyxiation after swallowing a bag of marijuana to hide it from police.
The two low-ranking police officers were convicted of arresting Saeed without cause and using brutal force and physical violence, which led to his death. Both defendants have been temporarily released.
Saeed’s family lawyer Mahmoud Bakry Afify said that the Court of Cassation’s decision to allow for the appeals of both the Public Prosecution and the defendants gives way to the Alexandria Criminal Court to consider the case all over again. He demanded that the court increase the punishment for both defendants.
All possibilities are now on the table, Afify explained. The case will be considered as if no prior verdict has been given and he promised that surprising new evidence would be revealed.
Edited translation from Al-Marsy Al-Youm