FILE – The two children allegedly killed by their father
CAIRO – 18 March 2019: A criminal court in Dakahlia's Mansoura ordered referring Mahmoud Nazmi, over filicide, to Egypt's Grand Mufti, and said it would issue its verdict on April 17.
According to the Egyptian law, capital sentences must be referred to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic legal official, for consultation before they can take place. The Mufti's decision is non-binding though.
Nazmihas been accused of killing his two children; Rayan, 5, and Mohamed, 3, inAugust last year. However, this is the first time he admits killing them before the court.
"I who killed my children … yes sir (the judge) I did it," Nazmi said. Also, the prosecution said that the defendant has reenacted the crime, and penned a letter to his wife to admit it, adding that experts have verified that it was his handwriting.
His lawyer, Abdel Sattar Gad, said that his client committed the crime while under the influence of drugs. He added that Nazmi underwent a drug test after he was arrested, and it was found that he abuses hashish and tramadol.
Once he was arrested in August, Nazmi admitted killing his two children, adding that he wanted to "relieve them" from suffering.
“I killed my children and [I] threw them in the sea to relieve them from me and from the suffering they will witness in life because of me,” he stated in his first confession.
On August 22, which marked the second day of Muslims’ Eid El-Adha feast, the bodies of Rayan and Mohamed were found floating in a watercourse in Damietta governorate’s Faraskur.
Nazmi said he killed them to guarantee they will go to paradise as they are still young and have not committed any sin in their life. Mahmoud called for quick execution, saying that he regrets his crime. “I don’t want to live after [their death],” he stated.
The Ministry of Interior published a video on its official Facebook page for Nazmi while admitting his crime and disclosing its circumstances.
Nazmi, a farmer, told the police on August 21 that he lost his two children in a park in Meet Salseel in Dakahlia.
He said that he ran into someone in the park who pretended to be his colleague many years ago; once the man left, Nazmi figured out that the kids disappeared.
However, the father, who claimed that he lost his children in the park, was seen by eye witnesses leaving the park with his children in the car, according to the police reports.
Surveillance cameras also showed Mahmoud heading to Faraskur Bridge over the watercourse where the children's bodies were found.
Attempting to confuse the police, Mahmoud said that he had a dispute with a number of antiquities traders, and that he has naked photos for a lady he used to threaten.
During his confession published by the ministry, Mahmoud said that he killed the children because they were disturbing him.
Seven lawyers defending Mahmoud refused to continue advocating him after they heard his confession, according to media reports.
However, later in October, Nazmi denied the accusations saying "I did not kill my children," after his lawyer said that Nazmi decided to withdraw his earlier confession.