Adel Soliman, 48, was last week officially handed a death sentence by Alexandria
Criminal Court following approval of that sentence by Egypt’s Mufti, the high-
ranking Muslim cleric in charge of issuing fatwa, Islamic legal opinion. The
Mufti’s approval is required for a death sentence to become final. Soliman was
charged with killing Youssef Lamei, a Coptic shop owner in Alexandria.
[http://en.wataninet.com/news-2/crime/killer- of-alexandria- copt-sentenced- to-
On 5 February, the court had referred the documents of the case of Soliman to the
Mufti, meaning the court had sentenced him to death but was awaiting the Mufti’s
approval. The legal procedure that must take place now is for the prosecutor to
contest the sentence within 60 days before the Court of Cassation. If approved,
Soliman must be executed. If disapproved, he has to be re-tried before another
Lamei, who was in his fifties, was slaughtered on the evening of 2 January while
he sat in a coffeeshop in front of his own shop which sells nuts in one of
Alexandria’s main thoroughfares, Khaled Ibn-al- Walid street. Lamei had also used
his shop to illegally sell liquor. Liquor vendors in Egypt must hold a license to sell
alcohol. The bearded Adel Soliman, an Islamist, sneaked into the coffeeshop, came
up from behind Lamei and slashed his throat twice with a large knife. He directly
fled the scene before the victim even fell off his chair. Those sitting around,
including the victim’s two sons Tony and Peter, attempted to chase Soliman, but he
swiftly jumped into a white microbus that had stopped by, and fled the scene. The
following day the police found Soliman hiding in a non-inhabited area. He was
referred to Alexandria Criminal Court, charged with premeditated murder and the
attempted murder of the microbus driver.
Soliman, who earned his living selling assaliya, a confectionary made of molasses,
on a wheelbarrow in Alexandria’s Victoria district confessed to having killed
Lamei, and openly admitted he hated Christians.
The court heard testimonies of eight eyewitnesses including Soliman’s two sons:
Tony, himself a lawyer, and Peter, as well as Lamei’s brother Magdy.
Soliman was unrepentant. He admitted that he hated Christians because, he
claimed, they ‘spat’ at him and cast him looks of contempt. He confessed that he
had planned to slaughter Lamei because he sold liquor; liquor is banned in Islam.
Soliman said he had warned Lamei to refrain from selling liquor but Lamei would
“Yes I killed him, and I’d do it again if he hadn’t died. I’d kill all the liquor sellers
in the country if I had a chance,” Soliman said before the Alexandria Criminal
12 March 2017