Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby handed one-year suspended prison sentence over drug charges

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Thursday 5 Jan 2023

A Cairo criminal court issued on Thursday a one-year suspended prison sentence against well-known actress Menna Shalaby for possessing narcotics -- hashish -- with the intent of using them.

Actress Menna Shalaby


The court also fined the actress 10,000 EGP.

This suspended sentence means Shalaby will not serve jail time. However, if she commits a similar offence within the next three years, as per the country's penal code, she would have to serve the one-year jail sentence.

On 25 November, Shalaby, 40, who is one of the best-known Egyptian actresses of her generation, was arrested by Cairo International Airport's authorities for finding suspected substances in her luggage.

After being interrogated by the prosecution, she was released hours later on EGP 50,000 bail pending investigation, with the prosecution ordering the seized substances to be tested.

Later, the prosecution said that the assigned chemical laboratory's examination of the seized substances proved that they "contained two narcotics –  namely hash and cannabis – both of which fall under the Drug List I of the country's drugs law."

The prosecution charged the actress with "possessing hash narcotic with the intent of using it without legal authorisation."

The case, said the prosecution, was based on five testimonies of the airport workers who inspected the actress's luggage, on police investigations and on the recordings of the surveillance cameras at the place where Shalaby was arrested by the airport authorities.

Shalaby was returning from the US when the substances were found by the Egyptian customs authorities in her luggage.

She denied the charges during the prosecution inquiry.

Her lawyer also made a plea during the trial session for the nullity of inspection measures, denying the actress's connection to the seized substances.

Today's verdict can be appealed within 60 days before the country's Court of Cassation.

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