The funeral of Hesham Barakat, Egypt’s top prosecutor general, took place in Cairo on Tuesday with the attendance of Egypt’s entire governing cabinet and President Abdel Fattah el Sisi. Barakat died of wounds he sustained in a bomb attack on his motorcade on Monday.
During his participation at the funeral Sisi vowed to conduct legal amendments aimed at achieving "prompt justice" for acts of terrorism.
President Abdel Fattah el Sisi claimed that “execution orders were issued from inside the cage” following Monday’s car bombing, a reference to the imprisoned leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Sisi also claimed that deposed president Mohamed Morsi gave what he called “a death sign” from behind the prison bars during a trial in which he was sentenced to life in prison of allegedly committing espionage with Qatar.
The bombing that killed Barakat comes a day before the second anniversary of the June 30 protests that erupted in 2013 and prompted the Egyptian army to depose former President Mohamed Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Cairo has been on high security alert starting from Tuesday due to the anniversary, and a bombing on Monday only increased the security alert due to fears of attacks or the outbreak of protests by Brotherhood supporters.
Sisi said in a televised speech, “Barakat was the voice of Egypt, terrorism wants to render us speechless, Egypt will never be silent,” he also promised “prompt justice” for Barakat’s family.
Over the past months, the death penalty and life imprisonment have been issued to hundreds of members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the leader of the group, Mohammed Badie.However, these decisions which are preliminary and subject to appeal by judicial proceedings, and it may take years until the issuance of final judgments against the convicted.
Egypt is currently battling an armed insurgency in Sinai which has seen hundreds of police and army officials killed. In an attack on May 16 a car carrying three young judges was riddled with bullets in Arish, northern Sinai. An affiliate of ISIS in the Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack.
Barakat was the judge who issued the green light for the dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda camps, in which hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters died just weeks after Morsi was deposed.
A group called the "Giza Popular Resistance" claimed responsibility for the killing of Barakat in a Facebook post in which it said it “targeted the public prosecutor of the the coup judiciary, Hisham Barakat, during his movement in front of his home in the New Egypt neighbourhood as his car and other two cars were bombed.”
A 23 year old young man was arrested on Tuesday, suspected of being involved in Monday’s attack, Egyptian security sources told Al Masry Al Youm. It has reportedly been confirmed the detained man belongs to the Giza Popular Resistance group.
The group - which also claimed responsibility for earlier attacks on policemen - released a video in which it threatened Egyptian security forces and police with revenge attacks on the anniversary of the June 30 protests that led to the coup two years ago.
The attack comes after a militant group named “Sinai Province,” affiliated with ISIS, called for targeting the judiciary.
Judge Nagy Shehata, one of the judges who handed down mass death sentences to the Muslim Brotherhood and other peaceful political activists, commented on the call by saying he’s not the least bit scared and that God will protect him.