The Court of Cassation Wednesday annulled a death sentence handed down earlier by a lesser court for Mahmoud Esawy, accused of murdering Heba el-Aqad–daughter of well-known pop singer Laila Ghofran–and her friend Nadine Khaled last April.
The Court of Cassation also ordered a retrial for the defendant before a different court.
According to lawyers for the defense, forensic reports had revealed traces of an injection made in the defendant’s arm, suggesting that investigators took blood from him with which to stain his t-shirt in an attempt to forge incriminating evidence. The blood-stained t-shirt was found at the scene of the crime a full three days after the initial launch of the investigation.
"My son was a scapegoat," the Esawy’s father declared in the courtroom. "I’m sure the retrial will prove his innocence."
The defendant himself did not attend the court session. He is currently being held under heavy security at Borg el-Arab prison on the north coast.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.