Late last evening 5 February, Alexandria Criminal Court referred the documents of the case of Adel Soliman to the Mufti, meaning the court had sentenced him to death. The Mufti is the high-ranking Muslim cleric in charge of issuing fatwa, Islamic legal opinion; his approval is required for a death sentence to become final. Soliman was charged with killing Youssef Lamei, a Coptic shop owner in Alexandria.
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. [http://en.wataninet.com/news-2/crime/killer-of-alexandria-copt-caught/18463/]
The 48-year-old 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 Court.