An Egyptian court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence it passed a week ago against a man accused of the brutal murder of a female university student in the northern city of Mansoura, a crime that caused a public outrage.
The Mansoura Criminal Court last week referred the case of Mohamed Adel – who had pleaded guilty to killing Mansoura University student Nayera Ashraf – to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, a procedural step that effectively means that the court passed a death sentence.
As head of the country’s highest authority on Islamic law, the Grand Mufti has the right to approve or reject the passing of a death sentence. However, his opinion is not binding.
Adel has the right to appeal his death sentence before a higher court.
The case has gained instant national attention because of a graphic video purporting to show Adel while slitting Ms Ashraf's throat on a busy Mansoura street was widely shared online.
The crime also triggered a debate on violence against women was increasing in Egypt and what needs to be done to curb it.