Minya Criminal Court has today, 2 April 2019, handed a final death sentence to the policeman Rabie Mustafa Khalifa for the premeditated murder of two Copts in the city of Minya some 250km south of Cairo in December 2018.
The court had issued the death sentence last February, but referred the case to the State Mufti for approval. The Mufti is a Muslim cleric in charge of issuing fatwa (Islamic legal opinion) and the State Mufti is a high-ranking Islamic scholar who undertakes that task. The Mufti’s approval is a legal precondition for a death sentence in Egypt to become final. The Mufti has approved Khalifa’s death sentence, so the court today announced its final judgement.
The Copts Emad Kamal Sadeq, 49, and his son David Sadeq, 21, were shot by Khalifa on 12 December 2018. The two men were construction contractors who were supervising a job of removing debris from a demolished building across the street from al-Nahda Evangelical church on which Khalifa was stationed as a guard. A dispute erupted between the Copts and the Khalifa, who then opened fire at them using his police gun. [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/coptic-affairs/two-copts-killed-in-street-fight-in-minya/27032/ ]
2 April 2019