CAIRO, Egypt -- Five Moslem fundamentalists, shouting threats against Israel, were sentenced to death Saturday by a military court for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat last October.
The three-man Supreme Military Court, forced to announce the sentences in a hallway because of a raucous courtroom demonstration by the defendants, gave five other Moslem militants life in prison and condemned 12 others to varying terms of imprisonment at hard labor for their roles in the machinegun and grenade assassination.
'No crusades and and no Judaism but 100 percent Islam!' shouted army Lt. Khaled Al-Islambouli, 24, the accused mastermind of the attack on Sadat last Oct. 6 at a military parade outside Cairo.
'Sadat killed himself by his own action,' screamed another defendant. 'He was a tyrant, the worst king, the worst pharoah, the worst shah.'
'Tell (Israeli Prime Minister Menachem) Begin we killed Sadat, prime agent of Zionism, and we shall kill Begin at the nearest opporunity, come what may,' a third defendant yelled from the cage-like dock. 'Who's going to recover Jerusalem except us?'
Also sentenced to death were Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Salaam, 26, bookshop keeper, Ata Tayel Rahil, 27, engineer, Abdel Salam Farag, 27, engineer, and Hussein Abbas, 28, a volunteer national guard sergeant.
Firing machineguns and throwing grenades, Al-Islambouli and a three-man assassination squad broke from the ranks and charged the stand where Sadat was reviewing a military parade commemorating Egypt's role in the 1973 war with Israel.
Farag was not present when Sadat was killed but was also sentenced to death for supplying al-Islambouli with weapons and writing a underground manifesto that justified the killing of Egypt's rulers for deviating from Islam.
Court president Samir Fadel Attiya did not say how the sentences would be carried out, but the law decrees death by firing squad for military personnel and hanging for civilians.
The court has 30 days to present its findings and verdict to President Hosni Mubarak, who has final jurisdiction over the case. Once Mubarark acts on the court's decision, defense attorneys have 15 days to make an appeal.
Defense attorney Abdel Halim Ramadan, in a news conference Friday, condemned the trial as a 'forgery' and urged Mubarak to delay the pronouncement of the verdict to give lawyers more time to defend the accused.
Two defendants were acquitted, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind preacher and Islamic theology professor whom the the prosecutor had described as the spiritual leader of the group.
Those sentenced to life imprisonment included Lt. Col. Abboud El-Zomor, a military intelligence officer who deserted about two weeks before the assassination.
The prosecution said Sadat's assassination was to have been the first stage in an attempt to overthrow the government and proclaim an Iranian-style Islamic revolution.
About 1,000 Moslem militants, including some of the 24 defendants, will be indicted for the alleged conspiracy within the next few days.