A criminal court in Giza, Egypt handed judge Ayman Haggag and his accomplice Hussein El-Gharably, a death sentence on Sunday, 11 September for the murder of Haggag’s wife, television anchor Shaimaa Gamal.
Haggag and El-Gharably’s court sentence comes almost three months after authorities discovered Gamal’s body buried under a villa in Mansouria, Giza on 27 June 2022.
Initially, on 20 June, Gamal’s husband filed a missing persons report, citing her last known whereabouts as a commercial complex in the 6 October area. Allegedly, Gamal entered a hairdresser and “did not exit.”
Gamal’s last public appearance came in the form of a social media video, warning other women to contact the authorities and “run away” if they suffer from domestic abuse.
Investigations into a possible murder formally opened when El-Gharably, not yet known to be the accomplice, reported the murder to the prosecution, claiming Haggag killed Gamal due to disputes, according to a Public Prosecution press release on 27 June.
Haggag was arrested on 1 July as the sole suspect, according to another press release from the Public Prosecution. A week later, authorities also arrested El-Gharably after deeming him an accomplice to the crime.
Haggag planned the murder after facing extortion from Gamal in exchange for not revealing “secrets”, the press release added. The secrets in question remain unknown.
Gamal’s murder and following investigation gripped the nation, largely in part for the influential position her husband had as a judge, further pushing Egypt’s series of femicides at the forefront of domestic and international news.
On 3 September, Amani Al-Gazzar was murdered by her neighbor for refusing his marriage request. On 9 August, Salma Bahgat was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in front of a Zagazig courthouse for ending their relationship. Nayera Ashraf’s murder, on 20 June, in front of Mansoura University’s gates – for rejecting the advances of a colleague – was among the first femicides of the year to shock and anger the country.
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