In the first session on the crime that rocked the country over the past few days, the court issued on Sunday a media gag order regarding all the trial proceedings and sessions except for sentencing hearing.
The defendant is accused of stabbing Art Faculty student Nayer Ashraf several times and slitting her throat on a busy street in front of Mansoura university on Monday in front of hundreds of witnesses. A video recording the crime has been widely circulated on social media, triggering shockwaves across the country.
In its referral-to-court statement today, the prosecution accused Adel of premeditatedly taking Nayera's life "in retaliation for her rejections of his marriage proposal and due to his multiple failed attempts to force himself [on her]."
Adel, the prosecution said, planned on killing his fellow student during end-of-year exams, adding that on the day of incident Adel got in the same vehicle as Ashraf on the way to the exams, concealing a knife in his clothes.
He followed her and once she arrived at the university, he stabbed the victim multiple times in the back, causing her to fall on the ground. He then slit her throat with the intent of taking her life before he was attacked and restrained by bystanders.
The prosecution's referral also accused the defendant of possessing a cold steel weapon (knife) without legal justification.
The first session of the trial, which was held only six days following the incident, witnessed intensive security measures, with many security personnel stationed around the court, especially around the defendant and victim’s family.
The first part of the hearing were livestreamed on several media platforms before the court ordered a halt to the recordings and issued a gag order on all the trial proceedings and sessions except for sentencing hearing.
During this part, the court summoned Adel from his cage, asking him to recall his narrative about the shocking incident. The accused – who confessed to the crime during the prosecution interrogations and reenacted the murder – pleaded guilty to the offense before the court, but he denied taking her life as a revenge for turning down his marriage proposals.
Ashraf’s parents disputed this claim, saying during the prosecution interrogations that the defendant had repeatedly followed her after “the failure of their relationship and her refusal to marry him.”
They also told the prosecution that the victim had drawn up restraining orders against the defendant nearly two months ago, according to a prosecution statement.
The crime has also drawn wide commentary from many segments of society, including women advocates and controversial comments from clerics.