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Italy calls for Cairo to review mass death penalties

Italian Foreign Ministry called upon the Egyptian authorities to review the court's decision to sentence 529 anti-coup Egyptians to death on Monday.

In a statement issued yesterday the ministry said: "The Italian Foreign Ministry expresses its deep concerns over the death penalty approved by Al-Minya Criminal Court. It also calls for guaranteeing just prosecution for all defendants based on the law."

A Grand Mufti must now approve the verdicts before they can be carried out. The defendants were found guilty of killing a policeman.

The same court yesterday adjourned the hearing on the case of 683 other defendants, including the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader Mohamed Badie, to April 28. These defendants have been charged with spreading chaos and threatening civil safety.

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