An Egyptian court on Tuesday postponed hearing a lawsuit calling to halt implementation of death sentences handed down against six people convicted of joining a "terrorist organization" – two days after the sentences were carried out.
"The verdict was carried out despite the existence of a lawsuit calling to halt the executions because the legal basis on which the lawsuit was built was flawed," Mahmoud Kebeesh, a Cairo University law professor, told Anadolu Agency.
The lawsuit in question urged the Egyptian president not to approve the death sentences, asserting that they were illegal and unconstitutional.
"The president of the republic does not approve death sentences to begin with; he only has the right to consider a more lenient sentence or pardon," Kebeesh said.
"If he [the president] doesn't respond within 15 days, then the sentence is carried out," he added.
Kebeesh sees no legal explanation as to why the court proceeded with the case, even after the condemned men were executed.
Refaat Abdel-Hamid, a professor of criminal law, said the judge had the right to proceed with the case for two reasons: because he hadn't received an official document from the plaintiffs indicating that the death sentence had been carried out, and to ensure there were no civil claims.
"If a civil claim exists, the court will continue with the case, since the verdict may result in compensation for the plaintiffs if the ruling was implemented in violation of the law," Abdel-Hamid said.
On Sunday, the Egyptian authorities carried out the death sentence against six people convicted of joining a "terrorist organization".
"The death sentence was carried out against six terrorist elements arrested during a raid on a site belonging to the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group in the village of Arab Sharkas in the northern Qalioubiya province," a security source, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
In March, Egypt's High Military Court upheld a preliminary death sentence verdict issued in October against seven people accused of belonging to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis on charges of blowing up a military checkpoint north of Cairo last year.
The seven suspects were sentenced to death for attacking the Mostord checkpoint north of Cairo in mid-March of last year, which led to the death of six soldiers.
"The seventh convict in the case was tried in absentia and is not in police custody," the source said.
Active in northern Sinai, the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis militant group changed its name to "Welayet Sinai" ("Province of Sinai") after reportedly swearing allegiance to Daesh, which last year seized control of vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for several attacks on Egyptian police and army personnel in the peninsula in recent months.