Egypt court 'mistakenly' sentences four-year-old to life in prison

The little boy, Ahmed Mansour Korani, was convicted in absentia for “committing murder”

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In response to the public outcry, Egyptian authorities admitted Sunday that a military court has “mistakenly” sentenced a four-year-old child to life in prison for “committing murder” when he was only one-year-old.

The little boy, Ahmed Mansour Korani, was convicted in absentia of four counts of murder, eight of attempted murder, vandalizing property, disturbance of peace and threatening police officers.

His father recently appeared on an Egyptian privately-owned channel to recount his ordeal, after he had been remanded into custody for four months of pending investigations.

During the interview, the father held tight his four-year-old boy as he cried injustice. He appeared frightened as he appealed to authorities to not take his son from him.

“I’m a poor helpless man, the son of this land and I intend no harm to anyone but I have nothing to do with it,” the father cried. “I do not want anyone to take my son from me.”

Lawyer Mahmoud Abu Kaf, who is part of Korani’s defense team, told Al Arabiya.net. they submitted the child's birth certificate to the prosecution as evidence of his young age, but it was not considered by the judges.

“The moment they reached his home, the officers asked for Korani but his father told them the suspect you’re looking for, is a baby. The officer thought the father was poking fun at him and dragged the father to jail, keeping him in custody for four months of pending investigations. He was later released when the judge realized he was innocent.”

Military spokesman admits ‘error’

The father’s appearance on TV sparked uproar among social media users, prompting a military spokesman the next day to confirm that an “error” has occurred, and that the little boy’s name was wrongfully included among a list of defendants who were all given life sentence at a military court in Cairo.

The list includes 116 defendants accused of crimes committed in January 2014 in the province of Fayoum, 70km south of Cairo.

Colonel Mohamed Samir said on Facebook that the military court conviction was actually meant for a 16-year-old boy with a similar name, Ahmed Mansour Korani Sharara.

The colonel said the 16-year-old boy, whose whereabouts remain unknown, is accused of all the above charges during his participation in riots by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Fayoum in January 2014.

It remains unclear if the “mistake” will be fixed and how the rest of the trial will turn in favor of the child.