A court sentenced five officials on Tuesday to prison for manslaughter in connection with a 2008 rockslide in the Duweiqa area of Cairo that left 119 people dead.
In May 2010, a court sentenced the deputy governor of Cairo's western zone, Mahmoud Yassin, to five years in prison, while six officials in the Manshiyet Nasser municipality were sentenced to three years.
A September 2010 appeal acquitted Yassin and another official and decreased the sentences of five others to one year in prison. The Gamaliya Misdemeanor Court of Appeals upheld this verdict.
Defense lawyers argued that former first lady Suzanne Mubarak was fully responsible for the catastrophe by allowing the construction of housing units in the area without installing a sanitary drainage system. This led the residents to discharge sewage water near Moqattam Mountain, leading to the rockslide. The lawyers warned that the disaster might reoccur since governorate officials have yet to solve the drainage problem.
The prosecution accused the defendants of the unintentional murder and injury of Duweiqa residents. 250 people were injured in the rockslide.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm