2 Alex policemen detained in Khaled Saeed case

Alexandria District Attorney Yasir Rafai has ordered that Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud and Awad Ismail Suliman, policemen from the Sidi Gabr Police Department, be detained for four days pending investigation into allegations that they had used excessive force against Khaled Saeed, an Alexandria native who witnesses say was killed by police two weeks ago.

Eyewitnesses say that police dragged Saeed from an Alexandria internet café and beat him to death in front of onlookers. Police, however, maintain that the victim died after choking on a package of marijuana that he had been attempting to conceal during his arrest.

In another development, government forensic expert Dr. Ahmad el-Sabai shocked observers at a hearing held to review evidence when he stated that the package of marijuana may have become lodged in the victim’s throat as a result of blows inflicted by police. A heated dispute then developed between el-Sabai–who performed the second autopsy on Saeed’s body–and defense lawyers representing the policemen. “It’s difficult to imagine such a scenario!,” one defense lawyer shouted.

In related news, the Foreign Ministry summoned ambassadors from the European Union on Wednesday to inform them of the ministry’s rejection of outside interference in the case. On Monday, EU states issued a statement registering their “concern regarding the circumstances of Saeed’s death” and questioning the impartiality of the government’s investigation.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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