Egyptian Public Prosecution headquarters. FILE
Earlier this month, social media users were horrified when videos and photos appeared to show a young man brutally attacking and beheading an older neighbour with a cleaver in northern Ismailiya city in broad daylight on a public street.
Police arrested the young man shortly afterwards, after he had been seized by bystanders.
According to a statement by the prosecution on Thursday, the young man faces charges of deliberate murder, abusing drugs, and possession of a non-firearm weapon with the aim of disturbing public order.
In a statement earlier this week, the prosecution said the accused admitted to the crime when faced with the premeditated murder charge.
The crime of premeditated murder is punishable by the death penalty in Egypt.
However, according to Article 62 of the Egyptian Penal Code, no penalty shall be imposed on those who suffer from psychological or mental disability that caused them to lose consciousness and free choice during the crime.
The law also exempts those who committed their crime due to unconsciousness that results from taking drugs under duress or unknowlingly.
“A report by the Regional Mental Health Council’s Department of Psychiatry has proven that the accused is free from any symptoms indicating psychological or mental disability that may cause him to lose or lack consciousness, the faculty of choice, will integrity, differentiation, and knowledge of the right and the wrong either during the present time or the time when the incident took place,” the prosecution said in Thursday’s statement.
“This makes him (the accused) responsible for the charges that he faces,” the statement added.
In its earlier statement on Wednesday, the prosecution said the defendant admitted to willingly abusing different types of drugs on the same day of the crime.
The prosecution also affirmed that the accused man has shown balanced psychological and mental stability during the investigations and crime reenactment.
Interrogating the two people who the young man wounded and five other witnesses, the prosecution says that the crime took place after the accused and the victim talked to each other for several minutes.
“While assaulting the victim, he told the passerby about previous disagreements between them so that they would back off and refrain from defending him (the victim),” the Wednesday statement said.
The statement urged people to refrain from publicly discussing claims about the alleged murderer’s psychological health and motives as they could harm integrity of the investigations.
The statement said such “heinous” crime and other similar deeds “cannot be justified by any motive whatever it is.”
The prosecution said “it will not hesitate to take measures to achieve perfect justice.”