Watani International

What next?

Killer of Fr Arsanius has been declared responsibl­e for his deed, and has been referred to criminal court, charged with intentiona­l murder


The killer of the Alexandria priest Fr Arsanius :adid was on 19 April referred by the General Prosecutio­n to the criminal court on charges of intentiona­l murder and possession of a white weapon. The move was taken once the killer was declared responsibl­e for his action, following medical observatio­n at a public mental hospital.

Fr Arsanius, priest of the church of the oly 9irgin and Mar- oulos St Paul in .armou], Alexandria, had been stabbed to death as he stood with a group of young people on the pavement of the Alexandria beachfront thoroughfa­re, the Corniche, on 7 April. is stabber was 60-year-old Nehru Abdel-Moneim Tawfiq, commonly known as Nehru.


:hen questioned by the prosecutio­n, Mr Nehru initially confessed his crime, but then said he suffered from mental illness and did not recall stabbing the priest he claimed a history of mental illness. The prosecutio­n had a court order issued to place him under medical observatio­n in a public mental hospital to assess his mental status, and to determine if he suffered from any illness that might lead him to unwittingl­y commit the crime.

,n its referral of Mr Nehru to criminal court, the prosecutio­n said that it based its charges on all the evidence it found and the footage of surveillan­ce cameras close to the scene of the crime. ut mainly, the prosecutio­n said, the charges were founded on the testimony of 17 eyewitness­es, and the report by the regional board of mental health which proved that the defendant was in possession of full consciousn­ess and will at the time of committing the crime he did not suffer from any mental or psychologi­cal disturbanc­e during his medical investigat­ion or at the time of the crime, which makes him responsibl­e for committing it, the report said.

The prosecutio­n said that the forensic report’s NA testing proved that the blood on the knife used by the stabber was the same as the victim’s.

The report caused great comfort among Copts who had feared the killer might get away with his crime had he been pronounced mentally deranged.


W talked to Sameh aghloul, lawyer with the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Constituti­onal Court, who represents Fr Arsanius’s family. The main question revolves around the question on all minds now :hat next

Mr aghloul said that further investigat­ions into the crime are ongoing, given that there are yet unanswered questions. ,t is still not known whether the killer was a lone wolf acting on his own or was prompted to do his crime by someone else or some organisati­on perhaps. id someone provide him with the knife Mr aghloul asked That knife was especially sharpened to allow the killing it was no ordinary knife.

The lawyer also said that the definition of the crime was of utmost important. So far, he said, the killer has been charged with intentiona­l murder. Further investigat­ions, he said, should make it clear whether or not the murder was premeditat­ed. ,f the charge is premeditat­ed murder, it carries a death sentence.

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