A Cairo criminal court yesterday handed the death sentence to a judge who has been found guilty of killing his wife. The case has now been transferred to the Grand Mufti, standard procedure under Egyptian law for death sentences to be ratified.
Ayman Hajjaj was convicted of murdering his wife, Egyptian TV presenter Shaimaa Gamal, assisted by his friend, Hussein Al-Gharably.
Hajjaj is a member of the State Council, an important judiciary body.
He confessed to killing his wife and told the court that 42-year-old Gamal was blackmailing him and had threatened to publish photographs of their marital relationship which she took without his knowledge and asked him for three million Egyptian pounds ($159,000) in return for divorcing him without harming his future and reputation.
However, the public prosecution said investigations revealed that Hajjaj had planned with his friend, Hussein Al-Gharabli, to lure the television presenter to a villa in the Badrashin district, south of the capital Cairo to kill her and mutilate her face with nitric acid so no one could identify her.
According to the prosecution, Al-Gharabli was paid $19,000 to help with the crime.