Ziad Hassan Qenawy, a 3-year-old who was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for charges of theft and fighting authorities, was acquitted yesterday.
In Cairo, a lawyer prepares for a defense session standing in the middle of an Egyptian courtroom, holding a 3-year-old toddler on his shoulder, that he refers to as 'his client'.
Little Ziad Hassan Qenawy was charged by prosecutors of the following: illegal mining, and fighting authorities, and was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison. "He remained silent on his lawyers shoulders, with his eyes wandering around the courtroom looking for his father, who was watching his son's court session in disbelief," Al Masry Al Youm reports.
The case goes back to last year, when the baby's father Hassan Qenawy was reported by police forces for stealing from the mine – which he guards in the suburbs of Cairo – and driving a truck recklessly, and endangering the lives of police officers. When the truck plates were tracked, the car license was not under Qenawy Sr.'s name – it was under Qenawy Jr.'s name: Ziad.
What followed were charges that were directed at the car owner, and the case took its procedures until Ziad and his father were stopped at the airport, before leaving for Saudi Arabia. It was then when the father realised that his 3-year-old son cannot leave the country because he was summoned to court.
The lawyer approached the judge, denying all accusations, and asserting that Ziad's age puts him out of any law enforcement capacity that can possibly hold him accountable for the actions presented in the case. The Egyptian Law no. 106 of 2008 article 94, states "No children below the age of 12 are to be held accountable for any criminal charge."
After the judge finished the hearing and announced the verdict, it is no surprise that the toddler was found not guilt on account of all charges directed at him – his father burst in joy after hearing the verdict, crying out "Thank god this nightmare is over."
Main Image courtesy of: thedailybeast