The Cairo Criminal Court ordered on Tuesday the release of police officer Karim Magdy, who is accused of torturing street vendor Magdy Makeen to death last November. The court accepted the appeal of the officer against the prosection’s decision which previously ordered his detention for 45 days.
The officer was released on bail of EGP 5,000; however, he will still have to appear before the court to continue the trial.
The officer’s lawyer, Tarek Said, previously demanded the release of his client, arguing that he has a fixed address and a fixed occupation at the Ministry of Interior. He also argued that the forensics report did not cite any signs of torture on Makeen’s body.
Said is known for defending police officers accused of committing violations against citizens in police stations or in protests.
This comes in opposition to the statement of lawyer Mohamed Osman, who is a member of the defence team representing Makeen’s family. The report said that the death was the result of torture, adding that the report indicated that someone had stood on Makeen’s back.
Makeen’s case has caused nationwide controversy, leading to the intervention of some Coptic officials from the Church. After the incident, Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar addressed the issue, adding that violations are individual acts, vowing to take actions against any perpetrators.
The officer was suspended from his work, but is still an employee of the ministry.
There were originally 10 defendants in the case, seven of which have been released.
Makeen was allegedly tortured by 10 police officers at Al-Amiriya police station, after being arrested on 13 November 2016 while driving a cart with two of his friends. His family found out about his death on 14 November and decided to transfer the body to Al-Zaytoun hospital, where they found signs of assault and torture on his body.