Death penalty verdict issued for Coptic alcohol merchant murderer

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In just two consecutive court sessions, the Alexandria Criminal Court on Sunday sentenced a defendant to death, charged with first-degree murder and caught on CCTV cameras slaughtering a Coptic alcohol merchant.

The first trial session was held on Saturday. The death penalty verdict was sent to the Grand Mufti for consultation and the final sentence shall be announced on 9 March, a Sunday state media report said.

Investigations revealed that the accused man, named Adel Soliman, confessed that he deliberately slaughtered the merchant named Youssef Lamaei while he sat in front of his store in Sidi Beshr in Alexandria.

The defendant reportedly told the court that he killed Lamaei and that he would kill all alcohol merchants if he could.

According to a report, published by state-media on 8 January, Soliman was referred to a criminal court, as he added to his confession statement that the reason he murdered the merchant was that he sold alcohol and that he had previously asked him several times to stop such business.

Video footage from the store’s security camera showed a bearded man approach the victim from behind before slitting his throat with a knife. There were eyewitnesses to the crime, including the victim’s family members.

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