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According to Hoda Nasrallah, a lawyer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Misdemeanors Court of Appeal in the Economic Court decided to reserve the case of Marco Gerges Salib for the September 12 session to pronounce the verdict.

The young man was sentenced to five years in prison for “contempt of religion,” in Case No. 69 of 2022, on charges of “exploiting religion to promote extremist ideas; contempt for the Islamic religion; and transgression against the values ​​of the Egyptian family.”

Nasrallah added that Marco’s case is flawed by the invalidity of the procedures, and the absence of the basic elements of criminality, which is being public, as the State Security Prosecution charged him based on a private (social media) “chat” between him and another person, which signifies the absence of the crime.

Nasrallah indicated that the lawyers of EIPR, in their capacity as the defense team for Marco Gerges, argued that the first-degree verdict did not consider the invalidity of the procedures of arrest, search, investigations, and interrogation, as well as the failure to interrogate the accused in some of the accusations he is being tried for; and the reliance on evidence derived from an invalid procedure, such as a photocopy that was unsigned by the accused and was unverified.

Furthermore, the accusations do not match the model of the offense committed, as described under Article 160 of the Penal Code and Articles 25 of the Information Technology Crimes Law, as well as the failure to investigate and confront the accused for committing these crimes.

This is in addition to the failure to invoke the presence of the pillars of the crime of derision of religion that require a specific intent; the failure to invoke the presence of the pillars of the crime of derision of Islamic religion, especially the publicity element; and conducting investigation sessions with the accused in the absence of his lawyer.

After hearing the pleadings, the case was reserved for the September 12 session to pronounce the verdict in the hope that a fair ruling would acquit this poor young man whose father is suffering, and badly needs his son’s supported.


Edited translation from:

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