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Egypt prosecutor sends police officer to trial for killing female protester

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 photo, 32-year-old mother Shaimaa el-Sabbagh holds a poster during a protest in downtown Cairo. Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred a police officer to trial for the deadly shooting of a female protester killed earlier this year during a peaceful demonstration. (AP Photo/Mohammed El-Raaei, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 photo, 32-year-old mother Shaimaa el-Sabbagh holds a poster during a protest in downtown Cairo. Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred a police officer to trial for the deadly shooting of a female protester killed earlier this year during a peaceful demonstration. (AP Photo/Mohammed El-Raaei, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, an Egyptian protester holds a poster of Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, an activist who was shot dead at a small peaceful protest, with Arabic that reads, "how many martyrs remaining for victory," during a women's protest in Cairo. Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred a police officer to trial for the deadly shooting of a female protester killed earlier this year during a peaceful demonstration. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, an Egyptian protester holds a poster of Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, an activist who was shot dead at a small peaceful protest, with Arabic that reads, "how many martyrs remaining for victory," during a women's protest in Cairo. Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred a police officer to trial for the deadly shooting of a female protester killed earlier this year during a peaceful demonstration. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 file photo, an Ultras White Knights soccer fan cries during a match between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at the Air Defense Stadium in a suburb east of Cairo, Egypt. At least 22 soccer fans were crushed to death outside an air defense stadium in Cairo after police fired tear gas to break up the crowd waiting in a fenced, narrow corridor to watch. Police accused the fans of attacking the force, and rioting to enter the stadium. On Tuesday, March, 17, 2015 the chief prosecutor general also referred 16 fans to trial, accusing them of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. (AP Photo/Ahmed Abd El-Gwad, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

    FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 file photo, an Ultras White Knights soccer fan cries during a match between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at the Air Defense Stadium in a suburb east of Cairo, Egypt. At least 22 soccer fans were crushed to death outside an air defense stadium in Cairo after police fired tear gas to break up the crowd waiting in a fenced, narrow corridor to watch. Police accused the fans of attacking the force, and rioting to enter the stadium. On Tuesday, March, 17, 2015 the chief prosecutor general also referred 16 fans to trial, accusing them of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. (AP Photo/Ahmed Abd El-Gwad, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT  (The Associated Press)

Egypt's chief prosecutor has referred a police officer to trial for the killing of a female protester during a peaceful demonstration.

The death of 32-year old Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, a mother of a young boy, in January caused intense public controversy; her shooting was caught on camera and widely shared online. Authorities initially denied police were behind her death.

The uproar prompted Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to urge an investigation but he hinted that individual mistakes should not be used to undermine public confidence in the police force.

Prosecutor Hisham Barakat on Tuesday charged a police officer with involuntary manslaughter, a charge punishable by up to seven years. No trial date has been set.

The majority of the hundreds of policemen tried for killing protesters during Egypt's 2011 revolution were acquitted.