Cairo court issues gag order on murder case of TV presenter Shaimaa Gamal

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 27 Jul 2022

The Cairo Court of Appeals has issued a media gag order on the murder trial of judge Ayman Haggag and another defendant, who are accused of killing Haggag’s wife, TV presenter Shaimaa Gamal, in June.

Egyptian TV presenter Shaimaa Gamal
Egyptian TV presenter Shaimaa Gamal

 

Earlier this month, after obtaining confessions from Haggag and the other defendant, the Public Prosecution charged them with premeditated murder, which is punishable by the death penalty in Egypt.

During the first hearing in the case on 20 July, Haggag claimed that he killed Gamal in self-defence after she attacked him with a knife.

However, the prosecution dismissed Haggag’s claims in its charging document, which was published by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper after the hearing. The prosecution said that no knife was found at the crime scene and that Haggag made no claims of self-defence during his confession. The prosecution added that the other defendant’s statement contradicts Haggag’s self-defence claim.

Haggag plotted to kill Gamal after she blackmailed him, demanding money in exchange for not revealing “secrets”, the prosecution said in a statement on 7 July, without elaborating on the nature of these secrets.

Haggag’s friend, Hussein El-Gharably, a company owner and the second defendant, agreed to be an accomplice in the murder, the prosecution said.

On the day of the crime, the husband lured Gamal to a remote farm in Giza, where he struck her with the butt of a pistol and strangled her to death with a piece of cloth as El-Gharably held her in place.

The two defendants put the victim in a makeshift grave and doused her body with a corrosive liquid to make her unrecognisable, the prosecution said.

Forensic examination confirmed that the cause of death was strangulation, the prosecution said, adding that the defendants’ DNA was found on the cloth used to murder the victim.

Investigations also revealed that the mobile phones of both the victim and the defendants were in proximity of the same cell tower near the aforementioned farm.

The prosecution’s case against the two defendants is based on the testimonies of 10 people and the confessions of the two defendants, the prosecution noted.

Investigations also raised suspicion that Haggag has committed other crimes, the prosecution said, noting this matter will be investigated separately.

Gamal was known for her programme El-Moshagheba (The Troublemaker) on LTC TV satellite channel. She also worked for Al-Hadath Al-Youm satellite channel.

The crime initially came to light when the accomplice reported the murder to the prosecution and said that Haggag killed Gamal over “disputes,” according to a statement by the prosecution in June. The accomplice led the prosecution to the victim’s burial site.

Haggag had initially reported that his wife had gone missing from a commercial complex in 6 October City in Giza. Relatives of the victim said she was last seen in the company of her husband at the complex.

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