A man was on Tuesday sentenced to death for murdering a student in the northern Egyptian city of Mansoura.
The case of Mohamed Adel – who had pleaded guilty to killing Mansoura University student Nayera Ashraf, 21, on June 20 – has been transferred to Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Dr Shawki Allam.
As head of the country’s highest authority on Islamic law, the Grand Mufti has a right to approve or reject judicial execution orders. This judgment is non-binding.
After Dr Allam has provided his input, the final sentence will be announced by the judge on July 6, local news reported.
After the ruling, hundreds of Mansoura residents held celebrations outside Mansoura Criminal Court.
Some told The National that they had been in a state of shock since Ashraf's murder, with many women being too afraid to leave their homes.
Her family welcomed the sentence.
“God willing we will be attending his funeral very soon,” Ashraf's older sister told local newspaper Al Masry Al Youm after the ruling.
Millions of Egyptians have been following the case since graphic videos of Nayera's murder on a busy street in Mansoura were widely shared on social media.
The killing has shone a spotlight on the issue of gender-based violence in Egypt.
The presiding judge, Bahaeldin Al Merri, gave a lengthy speech before issuing the verdict, quoting Quranic verses about the importance of mercy, justice and raising children with good values.
“The court declares that it could not find the capacity for mercy for someone who was not merciful himself,” Mr Al Merri said at Tuesday's sentencing.
“Perhaps your death will do more good as an example for others than allowing you to live,” he told Adel.
Adel’s first trial took place on Sunday and was broadcast live on TV and social media. In his testimony he showed little remorse for his crime and he blamed the incident on the way Nayera's parents raised her, claiming that he was defending himself after the victim's family repeatedly harassed him.
The family denied all of Adel's claims in a lengthy interview with Egyptian daily newspaper Al Watan.