ALEXANDRIA: Islam Badr’s family were left frustrated Monday after the Alexandria Court postponed its verdict in the case of 23-year-old mathematics teacher Haitham Nabil Abdel Hamid, accused of kicking the 11-year-old student to death last October.
The court is expected to issue its verdict on Thursday, Dec. 25, but did not give a reason for the postponement.
“Haitham and his whole family should be executed, Mohamed Badr, the victim’s uncle, told Daily News Egypt.
Shortly after the defense lawyer concluded his statement on Monday, the judge resumed with other trials whose verdicts were issued immediately, unlike Badr’s case.
“This is too much, why didn’t he [the judge] issue the verdict? Mohamed Badr yelled.
The victim’s parents left the courtroom during the defense lawyer’s statement because “they were unable to listen to what he was saying about their son, Mohamed Badr said.
The defendant’s lawyer argued that Abdel Hamid had hit Islam to discipline him and did not have any intention of killing him or cause any serious injury.
He added that there are no sustainable medical records presented by the prosecution clearly indicating Islam’s health condition prior to the incident.
The lawyer said that doubts still remain about the health of Islam which might have been the reason for his sudden death, a claim which Badr’s uncle strongly refutes.
“Islam’s health was perfect. He was athletic and used to play football, Mohamed Badr told Daily News Egypt.
In response, the prosecution argued that “hitting in any way is not allowed in schools, indicating that even hitting students on their hands with a ruler, a common form of punishment in schools, is against the law and is considered “violent behavior.
“There is an official memo in all schools – including Islam’s school – prohibiting and criminalizing the use of corporal punishment by teachers, the prosecution said in its statement.
Last Saturday, the court listened to the prosecution, its witnesses and the victim’s lawyer’s final statement. The defense’s request to postpone the case, because his witnesses were not present to testify, was turned down by the judge.
No representatives from the Ministry of Education were present during both hearings although the victim’s lawyers had subpoenaed three officials from the ministry for questioning.
During the first court hearing last November, Islam Badr’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 lawyers in his final statement during last Saturday’s hearing. “No ministry officials responded to our request to attend the hearing or even sent anyone on behalf of the minister, he said.
The victim’s family is demanding LE 10 million in compensation and calling for the maximum penalty.