A four year old boy has been sentenced to life in prison in Egypt in connection four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, threatening soldiers and police officers, and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces. Defense attorneys presented the boy’s birth certificate but the court refused to recognize it and then the case was sent to a military court, where the boy received a life sentence in absentia.
Ahmed Mansour Qarni, born in September 2012, was one of 116 Egyptians charged with murder, destruction of property, and inciting riots and demonstrations in connection with a January 2014 incident, when the boy was only 1, the Middle East Monitor reports.
Defense attorneys said documents confirming Ahmed’s age were denied by the court.
“The [child’s] birth certificate was presented after state security forces added his name to the list of accused, but then the case was transferred to the military court and the child was sentenced in absentia in an ensuing court hearing,” defense attorney Faisal a-Sayd said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“This proves that the judge did not read the case,” he added.
The charges against the boy include four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, threatening soldiers and police officers, and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces.
The sentencing has caused an uproar on social media, with users criticizing Egypt’s corrupt government and broken legal system.
“There is no justice in Egypt,” Egyptian lawyer Mohammed Abu Hurira said in response to the sentencing.
“Egypt is ruled by a bunch of lunatics,” he added.
Here is another take on this story from MirrorUK
A four-year-old boy was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on a murder charge by ‘mistake’, authorities in Egypt have reportedly claimed.
Ahmed Mansour Karni was convicted and sentenced of participating in deadly riots which it’s said was committed two years ago – when he was just two-years-old – last week.
The court in Western Cairo heard the case of Karni, who was listed as “wanted” for murder , disturbance of the peace and damaging state property.
But military spokesman Col. Mohammad Samir admitted today that the ruling had been an error.
The mix up was because the boy’s name is similar to a 16-year-old who should have received the sentence, according to the BBC.
Writing in a Facebook post Col. Samir said that Ahmed Mansour Qurani Sharara was the suspect they had intended to charge.
It is not clear what will happen to the teenager.
Defence lawyer Faisal a-Sayd said at the time that he believed the judge did not read the case.
“The child Ahmed Mansour Karni’s birth certificate was presented after state security forces added his name to the list of accused, but then the case was transferred to the military court and the child was sentenced in absentia in an ensuing court hearing,” he told The Jerusalem Post .
Lawyer Mohammed Abu Hurira said the case proved “there is no justice in Egypt… [It] is ruled by a bunch of lunatics.”
The indictment stated the charges in full as four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, vandalising property belonging to the Egyptian Health Administration in his home province of el-Fayoum, threatening soldiers and police officers and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces.
The ruling provoked backlash online with people condemning the sentencing.
TV Technologies wrote: “Think perhaps child bears similar name of older relative?”
Amy Hawthorne added: “It is possible given reports of recent cases of judiciary sentencing people to death who were already dead.”