Seven Egyptian Christians Sentenced to Prison
By Mary Abdelmassih
1/5/2010 Egypt (AINA) — Seven Coptic Christians, including two priests, were sentenced to prison for allegedly being involved in a brawl in connection with a dispute over the purchase of a property by the Coptic Orthodox Bishopric of Delga and Deir Mawas, 270 KM from Cairo. The Misdemeanor Court in Mallawi upheld a verdict passed by the First Instance Court in April, 2007. The Rev. Maximos Talat and Rev. Bolah Nassif – priest of St. George’s Church were sentence to one week in prison and fined 200 Egyptian Pounds, “based on claims made by the ‘aggressors’ and without any legal basis,” according to the their lawyer, Amgad Lamei.
Attorney Amgad Lamei, who is also sentenced to prison, told Freecopts that during the execution of the eviction order on 4/15/2007, the Shaker family assaulted the party accompanying the two priests, in the presence of the police. “When I saw the brawl, I left the place with the priests and went to the police station to file a report about the incident,” said Mr. Lamei. “We went at 14:00 to report the matter to the police, and found out at 17:00 that we had been accused.” He expressed his surprise and disappointment at the verdict. He plans to take case to the Court of Cassation, but that will not stop the prison sentence.