Public Prosecution orders detention of man accused of murdering Coptic priest in Alexandria

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Apr 2022

The Public Prosecution ordered the detention of the man accused of murdering Arsanios Wadid — the Coptic priest of the Church of the Virgin Mary and Mar Boulos in Alexandria — for four days pending investigations.

File Photo: Archpriest Arsanios Wadid.
File Photo: Archpriest Arsanios Wadid.

Wadid, 56, was stabbed with a knife while walking along the Mediterranean Corniche in the Sidi Bishr district on Friday.

The criminal court ordered the suspect placed under medical examination in a public hospital specialised in the treatment of mental illness to investigate allegations he had said during his interrogation about suffering from a mental illness that makes him “lose control over his actions,” the Egyptian Public Prosecution posted on its Facebook page on Friday evening.

During his interrogation, the defendant confessed to intentionally killing the victim, but later changed his confession saying that he had arrived in Alexandria a few days prior in search of work and stayed overnight on public roads, claiming that the knife in his possession was just for self-defence. He also claimed that he was not aware of what he was doing on the day of the incident until he was arrested.

Furthermore, he said that he suffered from mental disorders about 10 years ago, after which he was admitted to a mental health hospital to receive treatment, and that he sometimes loses control of his actions, the statement added.

The Public Prosecution said it listened to the testimonials of 17 eyewitnesses, inspected the crime scene, reviewed the surveillance cameras in surrounding areas, and received autopsy reports from the Forensic Medicine Authority and the Alexandria Poison Centre.

The results conclusively showed that the cause of death was a stab in the neck.

Three surveillance cameras showed parts of the incident and the state of panic of those who were at the scene of the crime. The crime itself, however, was not visible on the tapes.

Other circulated video clips and photographs attributed to the incident, the victim, and the accused were collected by the Public Prosecution for further investigations.

Furthermore, the Public Prosecution is conducting investigations with the accused’s family as part of the investigative procedures it is taking in the case.

It also took blood samples from the suspect to see if he was under the influence of narcotic substances while perpetrating the crime, the statement said.

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