Minya Criminal Court on Monday sentenced 12 Copts to life imprisonment in the Abu Qurqas sedition case, the events of which left three people dead.
Head Judge Abdel Fattah Ahmed al-Sughayar acquitted eight other Muslim defendants.
On 18 April, a fight broke out between some residents of Abu Qurqas village in Minya Governorate over the construction of a speed bump outside the house of a Christian lawyer.
The fight resulted in the deaths of three people and the burning of several houses and barns.
Twenty people, including 12 Christian and eight Muslims, were sent to trial on charges of illegal gathering, premeditated murder, endangering the public, causing sectarian strife, arson, and possession of firearms, melee weapons and ammunition without a license.
After obtaining approval from Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, the trial sessions were transferred from Minya to the Beni Suef Court Complex for security reasons.
Edited translation from MENA