CAIRO: Judge Mohamed Abdel Rehim Ismail, in charge of the retrial of the murder case of Nadine Khaled and Heba El-Akkad, decided on Tuesday to examine the crime scene himself.
The judge will visit the crime scene on Wednesday. Hearings will resume on Thursday.
“It’s a procedure a judge can decide on to reevaluate all the evidence if the retrial is based on debating the evidence presented by the prosecution,” lawyer Essam Shiha, representing Gamal El-Din family, told Daily News Egypt. Four lawyers representing the victims and their families are attending the hearings.
In April 2009, then-19-year-old Mahmoud Sayed Abdel Hafez Essawy was sentenced to death for the murder of Khaled and El-Akkad. The murder took place in November 2009 in Khaled’s home in Al-Nada compound in Sheikh Zayed city, Sixth of October governorate.
In February this year, the Court of Cassation overturned the death sentence, granting Essawy a retrial. His lawyer Ahmed Gomaa previously told Daily News Egypt that the appeal, which was accepted in the very first session, was based on the argument that the evidence presented in court against Essawy was false.
The retrial started this week. The second hearing was held Tuesday, where witnesses and forensic doctors repeated the testimonies they gave in the first trial.
The judge said that all evidence have to presented before the media, stressing the importance of such transparency.
“The judge seemed very careful to assess all material presented to him. He has got an excellent sense of evaluation,” lawyer Hassan Aboul-Einein, representing singer Laila Ghofran, El-Akkad’s mother, told Daily News Egypt.
On Sunday, Ghofran accused her son-in-law Ali Essam El-Din of inciting her daughter’s murder.
Essam El-Din told Daily News Egypt he was astonished after coming back from a two-month business trip to Sudan to find himself for the second time being accused of murdering his late wife. He said Ghofran had made the same accusation during the first trial. During the trial Tuesday, his lawyer said he would file a lawsuit against Ghofran for false accusation.