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Asylum chief sentenced for freeing killer

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A court sentenced the chief of a mental asylum to life at hard labor Thursday for letting go a patient who went on to kill nine German tourists in a fiery attack outside the Egyptian Museum.

The military court sentenced another doctor, a guard, three nurses, and three attendants at the asylum to three to 10 years of hard labor.The court found Dr. Naseem Abdel-Mallak, chief of the Khanka Asylum, guilty of corruption and negligence in allowing patient Saber Abu el-Ulla to leave the hospital as he pleased.

Outside the military court, Abdel-Mallak's relatives screamed and wailed when told of the verdict. One woman shouted: "You dirty country, you sons of dogs. What did he do?"

Verdicts and sentences are handed down in the same session in Egypt.

The court acquitted the inmate, Saber Abu el-Ulla, of bribing his way out of the asylum.

Another military court already has sentenced Abu el-Ulla to die for masterminding the Sept. 18 attack that killed the German tourists and their Egyptian bus driver.

Abu el-Ulla's brother, Mahmoud, also was earlier sentenced to die for fire-bombing the tourist bus outside the Egyptian Museum and shooting its occupants.

The brothers said the attack was intended to defend Islam and to avenge a cartoon that depicted Islam's Prophet Mohammed as a pig. A Jewish woman distributed the cartoon in Israel earlier this year.