A special forces police officer stand guard to secure the area around Saint Mark's coptic Orthodox Cathedral before a Coptic Christmas mass in Cairo - Reuters
CAIRO - 2 April 2019: Minya Criminal Court sentenced to death a police officer convicted of killing a Christian worker and his son in front of a church in Upper Egypt's Minya in December, after they had an altercation with each other.
Referred to the Grand Mufti in February to ask for his non-binding opinion about the death sentence the court issued against the defendant earlier, a legal source said that Dar al-Iftaa approved the verdict.
The verdict issued against Rabie Khalifa, 43, is still preliminary and can be challenged within 60 days.
The prosecution earlier charged Khalifa with premeditated murder, as he appeared in a video shooting dead Imad Kamal Sadiq, 49, and his son, David, 21.
The video that was circulated on social media did not show any physical fight between the killer and the victims before the murder.
Attorney General Nabil Sadek referred the policeman to urgent trial on December 18, 2018.
Many Egyptian policeman have been convicted of crimes over the last few years.
In November 2018, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a police officer and a policeman to three years, and six months in prison, respectively, for murder by mistake in the lawsuit publicly known as “Afroto Case."
In January 2018, both convicts beat a detainee called Mohamed Abdel Hakim and nicknamed Afroto to death in the Mokatam Police Department.
The committee formed by the Forensic Medicine Department confirmed in July that Mohamed Abdel Hakim (aka Afroto) died after being beaten, refuting former claims of his death as a result of a drug overdose.
By measuring the concentration of drugs in Afroto’s body, the forensic report found that the victim did not abuse a deadly overdose of drugs.
The report also found that the severe injuries caused by assaulting the victim were the certain cause of his death.