Wednesday
May, 18

Egypt begins trial of man accused of killing Coptic priest

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CAIRO — A court docket within the Egyptian metropolis of Alexandria started the trial Saturday of a person accused of stabbing to dying a Coptic Christian priest, an assault that shocked the Arab World’s most populous nation.

The case dates to early April when Arsanious Wadid, a 56-year-old priest, was killed at a well-liked seaside promenade within the Mediterranean metropolis.

Prosecutors accused the suspect of stabbing the cleric to dying. The suspect appeared earlier than judges at a packed courtroom Saturday in Alexandria, within the first session of his trial. He denied the allegations.

Protection legal professionals, of their preliminary argument, mentioned that the assault was not a “deliberate” one.

The court docket’s prime choose, Wahid Sabry, additionally questioned witnesses concerning the assault. One witness mentioned the suspect stabbed the priest “as a result of he was a Christian,” and tried to assault bystanders once they intervened.

When judges requested the witness to acknowledge the suspect, he walked over to the defendants cage the place the suspect was being held and recognized him, in accordance with a livestreaming on Fb.

Prosecutors demanded the utmost punishment for the suspect, which could possibly be a dying sentence if he is convicted.

Sectarian violence just isn’t unusual in Egypt. Islamic extremists have additionally focused Christians lately, particularly following the 2013 navy ouster of an elected however divisive Islamist president.

In September 2017, an alleged Islamic State supporter stabbed to dying an 82-year-old Christian physician in Cairo. He was sentenced to dying the next yr.

Egypt’s Copts, the Center East’s largest Christian group, have repeatedly discrimination of. They account for about 10 p.c of Egypt’s over 103 million folks.

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