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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Egypt's Criminal Court hands final death sentence to man convicted of killing Coptic priest in Cairo

Ahram Online , Monday 12 Feb 2018
Priest Samaan
Priest Samaan Shehata (Photo:Ahram)
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Egypt's Criminal Court has handed a final death sentence to a man convicted of the October 2017 killing of a Coptic priest in a northeastern suburb of Cairo.

The court's verdict comes two months after it convicted 19-year-old Ahmed El-Sonbaty and issued a preliminary death sentence.

The preliminary sentence was referred to the country's Grand Mufti, whose opinion is legally required in death penalty cases, although it is not binding.

The final sentence, issued with the Mufit's approval, can still be appealed.

El-Sonbaty was convicted of killing Coptic Orthodox priest Samaan Shehata in Cairo's El-Salam city and assaulting another called Beyman Moftan.

He was found guilty of premeditated murder of the Coptic priest, who hailed from Beni Suef Governorate in Upper Egypt.

According to investigations by the prosecution, El-Sonbaty does not suffer from a mental illness and was "fully conscious" while committing his crime.

The prosecution added that El-Sonbaty said he did not know Arch Shehata personally, but he attacked him using a cleaver as soon as he saw him wearing a Coptic vestment.

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