The lawyers who had represented the man charged with killing Anba Epiphanius, the late Abbot of St Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun in Egypt’s Western Desert, have declared they would no longer represent him.
Formerly the monk Ishaia’ al-Maqari before he was defrocked by the Coptic Committee for Monastic and Monastery Affairs, Wael Saad Tawadros last August confessed that he had murdered Anba Epiphanius on 29 July 2018, with the help of another St Macarius monk, Falta’os al-Maqari. The prosecution charged them both with premeditated murder and placed them in police custody.
Following the first meeting between Mr Tawadros and his one of his lawyers,
Kyrillos Samy, Mr Tawadros insisted he never killed Anba Epiphanius and that his confession was obtained through torture and threats; Mr Samy said he would contest the veracity of the confession in court, and would demand a physical examination of the defrocked monk to prove evidence of torture. The lawyer’s recent withdrawal from representing Mr Tawadros came as a surprise.
The defendant’s other lawyer, Muhammad Ramadan, wrote on his Facebook page that he decided to withdraw from representing Mr Tawadros according to Mr Samy’s withdrawal, since his role had been to support his colleague, so there was no point in proceeding with the representation now that Mr Samy had quit. Mr Samy, however, has said nothing about the reason or reasons that led him to withdraw his representation.
The case is scheduled to be seen in court on 23 September.