Policeman sentenced to death for killing a Copt days ahead of uprising
Ahram Online, Monday 12 Mar 2012
Amer Ashour, a low-ranking policeman who killed a Copt and injured others using a firearm, has been sentenced to death

Menya's Criminal Court has decided to sentence low-ranking policeman Amer Ashour for killing a 71-year old Copt and injuring five more, all from the same family, after mysteriously opening fire on them on a train 11 January 2011.

The final verdict is to be pronounced on 3 May, the court announced.

The old policeman, a Muslim, opened fire on the six passengers when the train, which was heading to Cairo, made a stop at the Upper Egyptian town of Samalout. His motives remained unclear up till present time.

During interrogation, Ashour said he had felt frustrated after a tiring day, and felt relieved when he pulled out his gun and shot at people, a testimony that suggested he was emotionally disturbed.

Skeptics, however, have suspected that the crime was actually premeditated to further stir sectarian strife, with Mubarak's interior minister Habib El-Adly, currently in jail, accused of instigating the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on 31 December 2010, almost five weeks before the Samalout crime.