, ALEXANDRIA, Ma 3 – A court was due to deliver its verdict Monday in the retrial of two policemen accused of killing a blogger, whose death was a rallying cry during Egypt’s 2011 uprising.
Policemen Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud and Awad Ismail Suleiman are accused of torturing and killing Khaled Said in June 2010 after unlawfully arresting him from an Internet cafe in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
An initial trial sentenced the defendants to seven years in jail in October 2011 after finding them guilty of unlawful arrest and excessive brutality.
Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered the retrial after the defendants appealed, while angry supporters of Said felt the sentence was too lenient.
Police initially claimed that Said committed suicide after swallowing a packet of drugs.
Medics, however, said he died of asphyxiation after being beaten, and that the packet of drugs was thrust in his mouth when he was unconscious.
His death became a flashpoint between president Hosni Mubarak’s government and opposition activists, who vented their anger on a Facebook page called “We are all Khaled Said”.
It was on this page that one of the first calls was issued for the revolt which toppled Mubarak.
Said’s supporters and opposition activists have often clashed with security forces, in particular during the trial hearings.