The father of a four-year-old sentenced to life in prison on violence-related charges, including murder, spoke out on television, and recounted the story of how his child’s name was mistakenly added to the case.
Last week, a west Cairo military court sentenced Ahmed Mansour, the four-year-old, in a case with 116 other defendants, to life in prison on nine charges that included killing four people in Fayoum governorate, attempting to kill six others, ransacking the general intelligence building in Fayoum, and arson.
The child's father appeared on the 10 pm TV show on the private broadcast channel DreamTV, along with his son, who was fast asleep on his father’s lap.
Mansour, the father, explained that it all started in January 2014, when police came asking for his son Ahmed at their house. Mansour showed them his son -- who was two-years old at the time -- so they took him instead.
He said he was detained for four months, as the police thought that he was Ahmed Mansour, his son. He added that he couldn’t afford a lawyer until he appeared in front of the judge, who read his son’s birth certificate, realised the mistake in the papers, and released the father without bail.
However, two years on and Ahmed Mansour was still sentenced to prison.
Mansour said that he is a simple man who doesn’t watch the news, and was shocked and afraid when he found out that people knew the story of his son.
The child's lawyer, Eid Sayed, also spoke on the TV show and stated that a mistake was made during the investigations, as the police officer took a tip that someone by the name of Ahmed Mansour, who lives in the same street as the four-year-old, was involved in the violence.
The investigation said Ahmed was 16-year old. But there was no one else by the same name that lived on the same street or the governorate, according to the lawyer.
Sayed said that they are currently in the legal process of calling for a retrial and removing the name of Ahmed from the case.
Interior ministry spokesman Abu-Bakr Abdel-Karim made a phone call to the show, and said there was a mistake in the name of the defendant, and that the child’s uncle, a man in his fifties, is the one who is wanted by the police.
However, Sayed said that they repeatedly called for correcting the mistake or to remove the name of the child from the case but they received no response.
Abdel-Karim was surprised that the father, Mansour, was detained for four-months.
During the show, the child’s mother also phoned in and said that the police initially knocked on her door and inquired on the whereabouts of her husband and four-year-old son, at which point, Mansour started crying.
The wife said the police didn’t inquire on the whereabouts of the uncle.
“You can go home, no one will come near you or your son,” Abdel-Karim stated.
“The names will be corrected,” he added.