An Egyptian court Monday commuted a three-year jail sentence given to three men for the brutal street killing of a dog that was recorded and went viral on the Internet.
Earlier this month, a lower court convicted the three along with the dog's owner, who was tried in absentia, for "thuggery" and "torturing a domestic animal to death", after the footage sparked public outrage.
A Cairo appeals court accepted an appeal by the three defendants and reduced the sentence to three months for two of them and one month for the third, a court official told AFP.
The dog's owner will be given an automatic retrial when he is arrested or turns himself in.
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Police said the three men had brawled with the owner of the dog, which bit one of them during the fight, and later demanded that he hand over the animal.
In the video aired in February, the dog, named as Max, is seen chained to a street lamp at night.
He is repeatedly stabbed and hacked with knives as he yelps in pain and barks, and as bystanders fail to intervene.
In the end, one man strikes Max with a metal bar and kills him.
Before the defendants were arrested, one suspect told a newspaper the dog had bitten him "in a sensitive part" days before his wedding and that he wanted revenge.
Max's owner told a news website he had to watch his dog die and was unable to intervene.