Egypt Independent

Egyptian actor Mohamed Ramadan sentenced to one year in prison in ‘suspended pilot’ case



Egypt’s Dokki Misdemeanor Court on Thursday sentenced actor and popular singer Mohamed Ramadan to one year in prison, LE10,000 bail and a LE20,000 fine in a lawsuit filed against him by pilot Ashraf Aboul Yosr, known in the media as the “suspended pilot.”

Ramadan was accused of publishing videos on the internet harming and damaging Aboul Yosr’s reputation.

Ramadan has gone public over his dispute with pilot Aboul Yosr, who was dismissed from his job after a video of Ramadan in the cockpit of a plane went viral last year in October.

Ramadan went on record saying that the plane he was in for the video was a private plane that belonged to a private-sector Egyptian company.

The Civil Aviation Authority suspended Aboul Yosr and his co-pilot and referred them to urgent interrogation for violating the rules of international and Egyptian civil aviation, and for potentially endangering passengers.

Aboul Yousr reportedly demanded LE9.5 million in compensation after Ramadan initially expressed his willingness to compensate the pilot for any damages resulting from the video’s fallout.

In a Facebook post, Ramadan explained that “Captain Ashraf dispatched his attorney, who met with my accountant and submitted to him his estimated settlement, which include his pension and other claims. The total amount of compensation he wants is LE9.5 million.”

Ramadan said he would leave judgement to those criticizing him, and claimed that if they view this demand as reasonable he’d do it with no complaint.

Ramadan added that he had even talked to a friend, the Chairman of a private aviation company, about providing Aboul Yosr with a job as a pilot. Aboul Yosr declined, however, stating that his suspension prevents him from practicing any profession related to aviation for life.

“I didn’t let him down, and I’ve offered the solutions I have,” Ramadan said.

Though Ramadan deleted the video off his Facebook account, it remains available on Instagram.

Aboul Yosr, however, claims he did not ask Ramadan for any money.

The plane was making a special trip to Riyadh to transport Ramadan, his band, and two friends to a concert in Riyadh at the invitation of the Saudi Entertainment Authority.

According to aviation sources, Ramadan entered the cabin and sat in the co-pilot’s seat while the plane was flying on autopilot mode. The crew’s mistake, the sources said, was in allowing Ramadan to enter the cabin at all, and to film inside, violating regulations.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm