The Egyptian prosecutor-general has referred four juveniles to court on charges including possessing cannabis and insulting a policeman in Cairo’s Maadi district.
The case involves an incident that went viral on social media last month, where one of the boys is seen in a video clip driving a car despite not being of driving age and verbally insulting a low-ranking police officer who asked to see his driving license.
The video clip ends with the 13-year-old boy speeding away with the car, causing the policeman to fall on his back as he attempted to register the license plates of the vehicle.
The clip raised a public uproar in the country, especially when it was revealed that the boy’s father is a member of the judiciary.
The prosecution placed the defendant under monitoring in November, and released him into his family’s custody on the condition that they send him to rehabilitation sessions.
A judicial source was quoted by local media as saying that some of the defendants, including the child who drove the car, tested positive for drugs.
The defendants face charges of “violating family values and standards of the Egyptian community” as well as managing internet accounts with the aim of facilitating the aforementioned crimes, according to the prosecution.
The defendant in the case, who has been dubbed “traffic boy,” also faces the charge of driving a vehicle without a license. The car owner has also been referred to the court for allowing the child to drive the car illegally.
The prosecution said in a statement in November that the boy claimed that the car was no longer owned by his father, who sold it to a family friend, and that he took the keys in secret for one last ride with his friends, adding that he did not know the new owner.
The boy said that he fled the police because he did not have a license, and feared getting a ticket. He also claimed not to know who uploaded the video online.
The new owner of the car claimed the boy took the keys without his permission, adding that he had bought it from the boy’s father in October.
The prosecution has announced that it has released the owner of the car on EGP 10,000 bail after he was detained for endangering the life of a child.
Just hours after the boy’s release, and after he appeared with a Facebook blogger in a video asking for forgiveness, the boy appeared in a live stream with a group of his friends on Instagram trading explicit insults with viewers.
The second half of the video of his encounter with the policeman in Maadi surfaced online, where the boy and his friends are seen going back to the policeman and threatening him.
“I would beat the crap out of you if you were not old,” the boy is heard saying, as his friends accuse the policeman of breaking the car’s side mirror.