24 militants 'not guilty'

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CAIRO (Reuter) - An Egyptian court found 24 Muslim militants not guilty yesterday of the murder of a prominent politician in a verdict that damned the police for torture and the prosecution for fabricating evidence.

The eight-judge panel of the Emergency High State Security Court jailed 10 of 24 defendants for up to 15 years, some with hard labour, on charges of possessing arms and forging official papers. But it cleared all of them of the October 1990 murder of the parliament speaker, Rifaat Mahgoub, and accused the police of extracting confessions by torture 'to justify their ineptness and impotence in catching the real culprits'.