Egyptian court confirms death sentence for man who beheaded former friend in the street

Abdel Rahman Dabor carried the head of his victim through the streets of Ismailia

UNITED STATES - APRIL 02:  Crystal methamphetamine is on display at the New York office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, where it is being held as evidence.  (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

A man who beheaded a former friend on a city street has had his death sentence upheld by an Egyptian court.

Last month, the court referred its verdict on Abdel Rahman Dabour to the country’s Grand Mufti, as is customary in Egypt in the case of death sentences.

The mufti had no objection to the sentence, paving the way for Wednesday's confirmation.

Dabour was convicted in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia of murder and of the attempted murder of two other people who witnessed the killing two months ago.

He was also convicted of the illegal possession of a weapon.

The court’s decision to refer the case to the mufti – the cleric’s view, while respected, is not binding – was announced on December 9 at the end of a three-hearing trial.

The courtroom proceedings were broadcast live on several Egyptian TV networks, an unusual step that reflected nationwide interest in the case.

Dabour became known as the “Ismailia killer” after a video of the November 1 murder showed him walking through the city while carrying the victim’s head.

The gruesome footage was widely shared online and the trial was closely watched by Egyptians shocked at the murder.

Prosecutors called it a “murder that shook the heavens”.

Following his arrest less than an hour after the killing, Dabour told police his victim had coerced him into a sexual relationship years ago and that he decided to kill him when the friend threatened to make it public.

He gave a detailed confession during the trial but argued that he was under the influence of crystal methamphetamine at the time of the murder.

Dabour said he began using the drug because it made him “braver” when dealing with life’s challenges.

During the trial, Dabour’s mother told the judges her son had been using methamphetamine for several years and that it distorted his personality and actions.

Updated: January 5th 2022, 2:28 PM