Egyptian court acquits policeman of murder

The Minya Criminal Court on Monday acquitted a policeman on charges of allegedly murdering a man after brutally assaulting him in a raid to search his house.

The family of Hussein Hassanein Fadl in 2010 accused Mohamed Sobhy, a policeman in Dermawas, Minya Governorate, located 300km south of Cairo, of taking Fadl to the local police station and beating him to death.

The defense said Monday that there is insufficient evidence to support the accusations, adding that the forensic medical report proved that the farmer's death was caused by a heart problem, not an assault.

In 2009, another police officer was accused of assaulting a man in different village in Dermawas while searching his house for unregistered weapons.

In a similar case, a court in 2009 ruled to incarcerate a police officer in Samalut, also in Minya Governorate, for killing a pregnant woman in 2008.

Observers say Egyptian police practices have not changed since the revolution succeeded in ousting former President Hosni Mubarak on 11 February.

Anti-torture human rights groups have reported on other torture cases by policemen.

Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence said that in September, a policeman detained a man in Alexandria and tortured him.

Police violations in stations where they had impunity were among the main grievances driving the 18 days of demonstrations during the 25 January revolution.

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