Court / Presiding Judge
North Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Saleh Rushdy (Early investigations conducted by Judge Tharwat Hammad)
In December 2011, an investigative judge conducted investigations implicating more than 30 civilians reportedly present at the Maspero massacre for charges of inciting sectarian strife, disturbing public security, and attacking security forces. Because of a lack of evidence, the majority of investigations were closed. In April 2012, two of the men were referred to trial for allegedly stealing and hiding a multipurpose machine gun belonging to the armed forces.The court issued its verdict in February 2013.
Michael Adel Naguib and Michael Mossad Shaker were sentenced to three years in prison.
Summary of Reasoning
Michael Adel Naguib and Michael Mossad Shaker were sentenced to three years in prison on the charge of stealing a machine gun from the armed forces.
The lawyer representing Michael Adel Naguib stated that the evidence in the case failed to implicate his client in any theft. He further pointed out that the testimony upon which the court based its verdict was compromised and contradicted. The other defendant was tried in absentia.
Legal & Judicial Implications
The procedural history of this case has been the subject of much criticism in light of the fact that it was initially investigated by the military prosecution and then referred to state security. Serious questions regarding the transparency of the investigations and the due process rights of the defendants are in question. The overall failure of the court system to prosecute security forces for the Maspero Massacre, save for minor two to three-year sentences handed down to three security forces in a separate case raises questions on the judiciary’s ability to bring justice to the most marginalized members of society. Ultimately, the prosecution’s decision to press charges against Christians present at Maspero, rather than to bring justice to the Christian community, raises serious concerns about the state’s ability to protect religious minorities and victims more broadly.