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Murder or manslaughter? The fate of the suspect in the Habiba al-Shamaa case remains unclear

Online searches have risen regarding the death of Habiba al-Shamaa, 23, who jumped out of an Uber car on the Suez Road in Shorouk, Cairo three weeks ago after fearing her driver was going to kidnap her.

The driver is now being held in pretrial detention, with the Public Prosecution having renewed his detention for the second time in a row, for a period of 15 days pending investigations.

The suspect claimed the girl jumped out of the door simply after he sprayed perfume of his clothes, and many are left wondering how severely he will be charged.

The lawyer for Shamaa’s family, Mohamed Amin, said that the Public Prosecution will charge the suspect with committing the crime of premeditated murder and kidnapping, but not attempting it.

He added they will re-interrogate the suspect following the victim’s funeral.

Amin also indicated that he will submit a request to the prosecution to amend the case and the description of the crime.

The lawyer’s evidence of the defendant’s intention to kidnap and harm was reportedly stated by the only witness to the incident during the investigations, who claimed that before Shamaa fell into a coma had told him: “(Uber) wants to kidnap me.”

He added that police investigations found that the accused intended to harass the girl, causing her to jump out of the car while it was driving.

The suspect has a criminal record and had been registered as dangerous, he said, and forensic results confirmed that he had taken narcotic substances.

However the defendant’s lawyer, Amr Abdel-Moneim, said that his client faces a negligent tort, and if the registration and description of the case are amended should be charged with manslaughter and not murder.

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