Minya Criminal Court has referred the papers of Ragab Khalaf Tolba Hassan, 37, to the Grand Mufti for Islamic opinion on Hassan’s death sentence. Hassan was sentenced to death by the court for killing Mariam Moussa Yacoub, a 27-year-old Coptic homemaker and her three-year-old son Karass Akram Siddeeq last April, using a butcher’s knife. In Egypt, a death sentence cannot become final unless approved by the Mufti on grounds of Islamic principles; a Mufti is a person who issues fatwa, an Islamic legal opinion.
Hassan, who goes by the name Abu-Muhammad al-Harami and was a tuk tuk driver, had murdered Moussa and her young son in Beni Mazar, Minya, some 250km south of Cairo. He has confessed his crime before the court.
The police had caught the killer on 5 April in the northern city of Alexandria to which he had fled.
The prosecution investigated the case. It inspected the CCTV cameras around the site of the crime, and summoned a number of the eye witnesses as well as Akram Siddeeq (also known as Sedqi), the victim’s husband who is a barber.
Moussa who lived with her husband and two children on the outskirts of Beni Mazar, had gone out at 10am heading to the home of her husband’s parents. Harami, who is a neighbour of the Sedqis and who often drove them around, stopped by in his tuk tuk. A verbal clash ensued as he attempted to get Moussa to hand him her mobile phone which included incriminating evidence of his harassing her. She refused, so he got out a butcher’s knife and hit her three times on her head and back; she died right away. He then turned to the little boy, Karass, and hit him on the head killing him on the spot. He snatched her phone and fled, later throwing it down a water drain. The panic-stricken little girl yelled and ran into a nearby house where the owner directly took her in.
On 8 April the public prosecution issued a statement that cited the details of the investigation which culminated with a confession by the murderer of his premeditated crime.
The prosecution’s statement said that Harami’s wife and brother testified that he told them he had committed the crime.
13 December 2021