3-year-old faces life in prison after mistaken identity

2016-02-24 09:13
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Cairo - An Egyptian toddler has been sentenced to life in prison by the country’s military court, despite the army stating the actual suspect is a 16-year-old with the same name.

The 3-year-old boy, Ahmed Mansour Qorani Sharara, was convicted last week along with 107 others for allegedly killing three people and sabotaging public and private property, CNN reported.

The incidents took place during the time of the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi during the Arab Spring in 2013, and perpetrated by outlawed Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood.

The problem is that Ahmed was only one year old at the time the alleged crimes took place.

The Egyptian military said in a Facebook post it was a case of mistaken identity following uproar after Ahmed’s conviction, stating the authorities had actually meant to try a 16-year-old teen with the same name.

That too may also be incorrect though, according to The New York Times.

A police spokesperson, Abu Bakr Abdel-Karim, said in a television interview that the wanted culprit was actually the toddler’s 51-year-old uncle, whose name is "similar" to Ahmed's.

The boy’s father, Mansour Qorani Sharara, made a distraught plea on national television to the military to “not take him away”.

“I swear I don’t want to upset anyone,” Mansour Sharara told the TV station Elebrashy while sobbing. “They told me they will take my child. No one will take my child.”

Police had allegedly taken Ahmed's father into custody when first attempting to arrest the boy, after realising Ahmed was still a toddler.

The contradictions between the police and military statements have made many observers and criminal justice experts question the state of the country's justice system.

The army is yet to apologise to the family for the distress.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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