Alexandria Copt killer’s death sentence approved

12-03-2017 09:19 PM

Nader Shukry Nash’at Abul-Kheir

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.

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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

judicial circle.

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

not listen.

“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


Watani International

12 March 2017

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