CAIRO: A judge has been detained for 15 days after he shot dead 25-year-old Ahmed Saeed in a street fight that erupted on the evening of Dec. 19 in Abasseya, Heliopolis in Greater Cairo.
Saeed, an accountant, was sitting at a café in Abasseya where he lives, when he saw the judge, identified as Mohamed F., arguing with two young men on their motorbikes over a traffic dispute over who should pass first.
“Saeed was close to the clashes, around 50 meters to 100 meters away, and he tried to intervene like many others did to calm down the argument,” Saeed’s uncle Mohamed Sobhy told The Cairo Post Thursday.
The judge was hitting one of the young men with the back of his pistol when Saeed and other people gathered to stop the fight, according to Sobhy.
When Mohamed F. saw the gathering, Sobhy, quoting Saeed’s friends, said his nephew was shot. “The [judge] randomly fired with his gun, and one bullet hit Ahmed’s head and he fell down on the ground,” Sobhy said.
Sobhy said his nephew’s friends went to the judge, and tried to help their friend, but the judge threatened to shoot anyone who came near.
Saeed was then transferred to the Air Defense Hospital in Abasseya near where he was shot, but he was declared dead early Wednesday.
Following the incident, Mohamed F. headed to Waily Police Station in Abasseya to report the killing, which he said was an act of self defense. Sobhy said the judge accused the young men of following him.
Mohamed F. lives in the same Abasseya neighborhood as Saeed, according to Sobhy, who added that the judge was involved in a previous incident where he used his gun to threaten an owner of a bakery after a dispute over a parking spot.
“This judge is reckless and he wants the case to end as a manslaughter or justifiable homicide,” Sobhy said. “We (Saeed’s family) want justice and retribution for our son.”
Mohamed F. is now held in custody pending a prosecution investigation over the shooting. He submitted an appeal for his release, according to Youm7 Thursday, but the appeal was denied and his detention was extended for another 15 days.
Lawyer Mohamed Zarea, the head of the Arab Penal Reform Organization, told The Cairo Post Thursday that Egyptian judges have legal immunity until they leave office, but this only prevents interference into their judiciary roles. In all criminal cases, like that of Mohamed F.’s, this is a non-factor. Zarea said this immunity does not protect a judge who commits a crime, and Mohamed F. “will be punished by the law like any other civilian.”