CAIRO: Fistfights marked the trial Saturday of 23-year-old mathematics teacher Haitham Nabil Abdel Hamid accused of kicking to death11-year-old Islam Badr. The Alexandria court resumes the trial today when the court is expected to issue a final verdict.
At the hearing, which lasted four and a half hours, the court listened to the prosecution and the defense witnesses. Today, the judge will hear the statement by the defendant’s lawyer as well as a statement by a team of coroners brought forth by the defense.
Following the testimonies of Badr’s schoolmates who described how the teacher kicked Badr, the defendant interceded, denying that he hit the child that way, at which time the judge asked him not to speak until the session is over.
The victim’s lawyers then called in the coroner Mohamed Mohamed Abdel Kader, who was the first to examine Badr’s body and performed the autopsy on Oct. 26.
Abdel Kader said that he found serious bruises on Islam’s back as well as broken ribs in the chest area.
“Those injuries were recent and happened around four hours before the time of death, Abdel Kader said. He identified the cause of death as due to cardiac arrest resulting from the rupture of a blood vessel that controls brain function.
Asked whether the bruises on the child’s body eventually led to his death and whether were due to one or more kicks, Abdel Kader could not pinpoint their exact number but said that they could cause death in some cases depending on the strength their impact.
He also denied that Badr was suffering any illness that may have led to this sudden death.
The second witness Alaa Eldin Al-Sawy, the doctor at Sharq Al-Madina hospital who examined Badr when he was first admitted to hospital.
Al-Sawy said that when he saw the victim at around 11 am on Oct. 26 his pupils were dilated and he was not breathing.
He stressed, however that Badr was alive when he examined him, but unlike Abdel Kader, he did not see any broken ribs. However, he denied that the medical procedures implemented to resuscitate the heart could have broken them. These procedures lasted for about eight hours until Badr died at around 8:30 pm.
Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed, the doctor at Al-Quds medical center who was the first to examine the child at 10:30 am before he was moved to Sharq Al-Madina hospital, concurred with Al-Sawy regarding Badr’s dilated pupils. He added that his lips were blue and his body was very cold. He also said that he was unable to detect a heart beat.
Midway through the hearing the judge threatened to have Amr Badr, Islam’s father, arrested for contempt of court. Badr had spoken during one of the testimonies.
The court then called in Samia Hussein, the school principal, as a defense witness, stressing how Abdel Hamid was “very much loved by his students.
When Hussein said that she did not find it necessary to notify the parents immediately about their son’s collapse, the victims’ mother jumped from her seat screaming and attacked her, at which point the judge left the courtroom.
A fistfight then ensued between Badr’s mother and the defendant’s family after which the mother was taken outside and the hearing resumed.
The court then listened to the testimonies of two of Badr’s classmates who were present during the tragic incident.
“Mr Haitham asked all of those who didn’t do their homework to leave the classroom and stretch out our hands so he can hit us with a T-shaped ruler. When he was about to hit Islam the third time, he missed and hit himself instead so he got angry at Islam and kicked him in the stomach, and in his chest below his left shoulder, Gomaa said.
“And as Islam headed into the classroom after Mr Haitham has asked us all to go back inside, and hit him again in his back. As he approached his seat he fell on his back, his eyes were open and he wasn’t moving, Gomaa added crying.
No representatives of the Education Ministry were present during the hearing although the victim’s lawyers had subpoenaed three officials from the ministry for questioning.
During the first court hearing last November, the victim’s lawyers demanded the testimonies of the Minister of Education Youssry Al-Gamal, Deputy Minister Reda Abou Serae and ministry official Gamal Moawad.
“The ministry of education is mocking the judicial system your honor, said one of the victim’s lawyers in his final statement. “No ministry officials responded to our request to attend the hearing or even sent anyone on his behalf, he said.
The victim’s family is demanding LE 10 million in compensation and calling for the maximum penalty.