Judges Gavel – CC via Flickr/Chris Potter
CAIRO – 30 January 2020: A defendant, who is charged with killing seven members of the same family and setting their house on fire in Kafr el-Dawar city in Beheira govenorate, was sentenced to death on Thursday.
The case was referred to the Grand Mufti for religious advisory, and the final verdict will be issued on February 27. Referring cases to Grand Mufti is a standard procedure that seeks the religious authority’s approval on sentencing a defendant to death, although his decision is not binding.
Sherif Abdullah Ragab, 37 years, works as a butcher, and has admitted during investigations that he committed the crime because he wanted to steal the livestock from the victims, because he was having a financial problem.
According to his accounts on the crime, the defendant explained that he claimed to be wanted by security authorities, and had to hide at the victims' house. He added that he stabbed the first victim in the stomach, and the mother heard her son’s scream, and when she tried to rescue him, Ragab stabbed her as well.
Ragab gave details to investigators, saying that he also stabbed the wife and four children aged 15, 10, 4 and 3 years old, and set the house on fire as he tried to cover up his crime. He then fled the scene and hid at his relative’s house, but he was captured by the police after his blood was identified at the crime’s scene.
The prosecution had recommended death by hanging for Ragab over the premeditated murder of a seven-member family and setting their house on fire in Kafr el-Dawwar on January 5.
Ragab's lawyer had called for sending his client to a psychiatric hospital to inquire about his mental state during the crime.