CAIRO: The Lawyers Syndicate announced suspending attorneys’ work at two courts after a lawyer was shot Saturday until investigations reveal the perpetrator’s identity, news websites quoted the Mohamed Othman, the head of the syndicate’s branch in North Cairo.
Lawyer Mohamed el-Gamal is reportedly in an intensive care unit in due to “laceration in the lungs,” and his condition is “unstable,” Health Ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told The Cairo Post Sunday. A number of lawyers, however, posted a picture of Gamal at the hospital Sunday, saying he has improved since Saturday.
Gamal was shot between the neck and the chest at Nasr City court by “a gun that belongs to a policeman,” said the Head of Lawyers’ Syndicate Sameh Ashour.
A policeman and a court secretary were arrested and referred to investigations over the attack.
News reports published two scenarios about the incident and the perpetrator, whose identity “has not been confirmed,” Ashour told Dream TV Channel Saturday.
“A problem occurred between [Gamal] and his colleague with a secretary or an employee at the court, which then led to chasing the lawyer [Gamal] and shooting him,” he added.
Ashour explained that the argument is about “whether the policeman [whose pistol was used in the shooting] was the one who directly shot at the lawyer or the employee used the policeman’s gun in the shooting.”
Prosecution undersecretary snatches pistol, shoots lawyer
Youm7 published a video of Lawyer Ahmed Qotb, who said that he and Gamal were involved in the problem with Nasr City court secretary.
Qotb’s account supported the scenario that the secretary shot Gamal.
Ahmed Ezz, a secretary of district-attorney at Nasr City Court, verbally and physically assaulted both lawyers Saturday as they were trying to report a security guard for abusingQotb’s client by, Qotb said in the video.
“All guards and employees gathered around us,” said Qotb, who escaped to ask for help, but his request was ignored. According to Qotb, Ezz slapped him in the face in front of Prosecution Undersecretary Ahmed Tawfiq, who also did not react to the aggression, according to him.
Qotb said that Ezz ran after Gamal, snatched the policeman’s pistol and fired two shots; one of them injured another policeman in the leg and the other hit Gamal near his neck.
Ashour, head of the Lawyer’s Syndicate, said there is a “state of resentment” among lawyers regarding the incident due to “repeated attacks” against them. He also warned against “a spreading culture of abusing power.”
The Lawyers’ Syndicate demanded Minister of Justice Ahmed el-Zind delegate a judge from outside the prosecution to investigate the incident, after accounts by eyewitnesses indicated that a prosecution employee might be involved in the crime.
Policeman shoots lawyers for walking “suspiciously fast”
A different account was given by an anonymous security source who told Youm7 that the Gamal was trying to give a mobile phone to his client, a defendant held at the court.
A policeman rejected, according to the source, and clashed with the lawyer who left in a hurry followed by other policemen, “prompting security guards to think he is a fleeing defendant and shoot him, injuring [Gamal] and a policeman.”
In June, a large number of lawyers staged a one-day nationwide strike after a police officer hit a lawyer in the head with his shoe in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Damietta.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi interfered in the crisis and apologized to the lawyers, calling on policemen to “take care” while dealing with citizens.