ALEXANDRIA: An Alexandria court handed 23-year-old mathematics teacher Haitham Nabil Abdel Hamid a six-year jail sentence with hard labor, for kicking 11-year-old Islam Badr to death last October.
The verdict was announced Thursday afternoon amid serious objections by both Badr’s and Abdel Hamid’s families.
Badr’s family said the verdict was too lenient, and their lawyer vowed to appeal it. The prosecution, however, said that it will not proceed with an appeal.
On the other hand, Abdel Hamid’s family contested the verdict, with some members screaming that it was too harsh and would ruin their son’s future.
Abdel Hamid received the minimum jail sentence handed down for the crime of beating leading to death. The penal code stipulates a minimum of three and maximum of seven-year jail sentence for similar crimes. The recently-amended child law, however, stipulates a minimum of six years if the victim of beating is a child.
As soon as the verdict was announced, policemen filled the courtroom, forcing the press outside.
During two previous hearings last week, the defense and the victim’s lawyers presented their case.
However no representatives from the Ministry of Education were present during any of the three sessions, even though Badr’s lawyers had subpoenaed three ministry officials for questioning.
During the first court hearing last November, Badr’s lawyers had 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 on Saturday. “No ministry officials responded to our request to attend the hearing or even sent anyone on behalf of the minister, he said.