Monday, January 4, 2010

"Veil martyr" family slam German officer ruling


CAIRO (Al Arabiya)

Egypt objected to a decision by the German prosecution to drop the case against the officer who shot at the husband of the Egyptian woman, dubbed the "veil martyr," murdered by a Russian immigrant in the city of Dresden.

The decision to drop the case was made by the Dresden Public Prosecutor's office after it determined that the officer who shot at Marwa al-Sherbini’s husband, Elwy Okaz, was a mistake and not intentional.

" They were very disappointed because the man who tried to shoot Marwa’s husband was not indicted "
Family lawyer

The officer was freed based on evidence that no criminal offence was intended and that it during the incident it was difficult to differentiate between the murderer, who was repeatedly stabbing Sherbini, and her husband who leaped forward in a bid to protect his wife.

Okaz and Alex Wiens, the murderer, were both covered in blood, said the prosecutors’ statement, and the Federal Police officer intervened at the time when Okaz managed to grab the handle of the knife from Wiens. It was a tragic mistake, the prosecutors concluded.

Marwa al-Sherbini's family objected the verdict and accused the officer of attempted murder.

“They were very disappointed because the man who tried to shoot Marwa’s husband was not indicted,” said Khaled Abu Bakr, the family’s lawyer.


Egypt to support Sherbini's husband
" Despite our respect for the German prosecution and the decision it reached regarding the mistaken shooting of Shebini's husband, we are still going to support the family in their appeal "
Egypt statement

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry vowed to support al-Sherbini’s family in their appeal against the German prosecution.

“Despite our respect for the German prosecution and the decision it reached regarding the mistaken shooting of Shebini's husband, we are still going to support the family in their appeal,” said the statement the ministry issued Saturday and of which Al Arabiya obtained a copy.

The statement added that as soon as the crime took place, the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin assigned the defense in the case to two German legal offices paid for by the government.

“The two offices worked on the case until the defendant got the harshest penalty in German law, a life sentence.”

The ministry explained its disappointment after several lawyers working abroad tried to cover up their failure to handle the case by accusing the ministry of negligence, which, according to the statement, is not the case.

Sherbini’s family announced holding a press conference Sunday in order to explain the latest developments in the case.



(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)