CAIRO: A Cairo Traffic Misdemeanors Court Monday sentenced the 10 men charged with taking part in an impromptu motorcycle race with a one-year prison sentence and a LE 3,000 fine.
They are currently out on bail – which was set at LE 1,000 – pending the verdict of their appeal, which will be heard on Nov. 27.
“The verdict surpassed all expectations by far, said Mohamed El-Dawy, one of the defense lawyers.
“The testimonies and the documents all prove that no race has taken place, so how could there be a punishment if there is no crime? Based on what did they issue this verdict? he asked.
The group of 20-somethings was allegedly racing their motorcycles at 2:30 am in Mohandiseen’s Gamaet El-Dowal El-Arabiya Street on Friday Nov. 7.
Three of the detainees are also charged of driving without a license and driving an unlicensed motorcycle.
The public prosecution office referred the case to court on Nov. 8 with the 10 detainees facing the following charges: blocking part of the road in a way that endangers lives and public property, deliberately causing a traffic jam, driving motorcycles that cause noise and participating in a motorcycle race without a license from the responsible authorities.
Expressing his dismay at the verdict, El-Dawy wondered how these men received a one-year prison sentence when there were no casualties or any losses while at the same time, when a driver hits a pedestrian and kills him, the punishment is only six months.
The defense committee has filed for an appeal, scheduled for Thursday Nov. 27, and are hoping for a lighter sentence or for it to be cancelled altogether, said El-Dawy.
El-Dawy previously claimed that there are other motives behind the arrest.
“This is the first case referred to court after the new traffic law, [and] they want to show everyone that the law is being implemented and there are harsh punishments for those who break it, he said.
Renowned media figure, Mahmoud Saad, commented on the case on his popular primetime TV show, El Beit Beitak, saying, “Young people should channel their energy into productive activities, they should import from the western world the positive habits of the youth not the extreme and irrational things.