Cairo: An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced five policemen to 10 years each in prison for their role in killing peaceful protesters in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the first such conviction against the force that was blamed for hundreds of deaths.
Giza Criminal Court sentenced five non-commissioned officers at Hawamdiya and Abul-Nomros police stations in absentia for killing protesters on January 28-29 of last year.
Two other officers were sentenced to a suspended one-year term. Ten policemen were acquitted in the same case.
The sentence is the most serious one handed down to members of the police since a low-ranking officer was given the death penalty in absentia on the charge of killing protesters. That verdict was later overturned after he turned himself in from hiding.
On January 28, known as the Friday of Rage, Mubarak's security forces fired on protesters who battled for hours until the security forces collapsed and the demonstrators conquered Tahrir Square in the centre of Egypt's capital.
According to figures about 850 Egyptians were killed in the revolt as police fired live ammunition, rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas at protesters.
Mubarak, along with former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six senior security officials, stand accused of ordering the killing of peaceful protesters during the 18-day uprising.
The final verdict in their trial is set to be delivered on 2 June.
First Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 00:07