Mariam Mohammed
Mariam Mohammed Image Credit: Facebook/Mariam Mohammed

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Two Egyptian men were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of dragging a young woman to death following a drive-by theft, a Cairo Criminal Court ruled on Wednesday.

The murder occurred in October has triggered massive outrage in the nation.

The court, which sought religious opinion from the Egyptian Grand Mufti on executing the two men, also acquitted a third defendant, who was held on charges of aiding and abetting the murderers.

The 24-year-old victim identified as Mariam Mohammed was walking on a street in the Cairo southern quarter of Maadi, where a person sitting next to a driver of a speeding minibus attempted to snatch her bag, the prosecution said, citing eyewitnesses.

The girl clung to her bag as the vehicle sped off, lost her balance, her head crashed into the front of a parked car and she was run over by the minibus of the convicts'.

Two of the men were charged with premeditated murder and forced robbery. The third was charged with complicity for having provided the prime defendants with the minibus, while aware of the crime plan, prosecutors said.

However, the court found that the third man was unaware of the convicts’ plans.

The prosecution said charges were based on testimonies of seven witnesses and confessions of the defendants.

The accused said they had committed the crime with the intention of stealing the victim’s bag, in which they found 85 Egyptian pounds (Dh19.8) and some make-up tools, Egyptian media reported.

Footage retrieved from surveillance cameras at the scene showed that the minibus had passed on the road at high speed.

Police investigations revealed that the offenders’ vehicle had dragged Mohammed, who was returning home from work, for several metres. She worked at a state-owned bank.