Cairo court sentences man to death for killing priest

Cairo Criminal Court on Monday sentenced a man to death over killing a Coptic priest in the al-Marg area on the eastern outskirts of Cairo in October.

The defendant identified as Ahmed Saeed al-Sonbati was charged with murder with malicious intent against Samaan Shehata.

Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadiq referred the defendant to trial the same month. Sonbati pleaded guilty during the first session of trial in November.

Sonbati attacked priest Shehata while he was walking across the street on October 12 when the young man blocked the way, bashed his head and abdomen with a cleaver and ran away. The priest died on the scene.

Shehata was in Cairo to collect donations for poor Coptic Christians in his Upper Egypt city of Al-Fashn in Bani Suef governorate.

The evidence against the defendant includes his own confession during interrogations, investigations by top security bodies, eyewitnesseses, and a forensic medical report on the body of the victim.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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