JAFFA, Israel – An Egyptian man was sentenced to death for murdering a Christian alcohol retailer.
The sentence for Adel Assaliyeh, a Muslim resident of Alexandria, was submitted to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who has the prerogative on signing off on death sentences.
Assaliyeh admitted to killing the victim, Youssef Lamei, saying he had asked him to stop selling alcohol to no avail. Refusing legal counsel, Assaliyeh reportedly didn’t show remorse and said, “If I could, I’d kill all of the alcohol retailers.”
The victim’s son Tony said the defendant threatened him during the trial and said he would murder him too as well as all Coptic Christians. Tony said that the defendant nonchalantly reenacted the murder while citing Islamic rulings permitting the killing of Christians that he had heard on television.
Lamei’s assault last month by an initially anonymous man was caught on closed-circuit cameras and shocked the Egyptian public. It also further increased the uncertainties facing the Coptic community.