Court upholds prison verdict for police chief in 2003 torture incident

The Court of Cassation upheld an earlier verdict by the Cairo Criminal Court which had sentenced the Maadi police investigations chief to 10 years in prison and six other officers in his department to seven years over charges of torturing a young man to death.

The case goes back to 2003, when investigations chief Lieutenant Colonel Yasser al-Shennawy summoned the victim, Fawzy Saleh Shemeis, to the police station. Shennawy and the other defendants then tortured Shemeis over the course of four days, causing total paralysis and brain damage, which led to his death. Shennawy had been questioning Shemeis about drugs.

Shemeis' family had filed a police complaint over the incident, and prosecutors eventually referred the suspects to court.

Elaborating on the verdict, the court accused the defendants of adopting procedures that violated citizens' fundamental rights and prevented fair and secure investigations from being carried out.

The court added that unless a suspect is caught red-handed, police authorities are not entitled to detain or search him or her without a warrant.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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