Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby was given a one-year suspended prison sentence by a Cairo criminal court over possession and intended use of cannabis and hash.
The actress was also fined EGP 10,000 (USD 367.6), with a three year probation, on Thursday, 5 January.
A suspended sentence means that, should Shalaby commit a similar offense within the next three years, she will have to serve the one-year sentence per Egypt’s penal code.
The actress, who was meant to appear in court on 5 January, missed her trial and was sentenced in absentia.
Earlier in November 2022, authorities arrested Shalaby at Cairo International Airport (CAI) for possessing a number of illegal substances, following a flight back from the United States. After interrogation, she was released on a EGP 50,000 (USD 1,838.2) bail pending investigation, and the substances were confiscated by local prosecution.
The substances were later identified as containing two narcotics, hash and cannabis, both of which are illegal under the country’s drugs law. As such, the prosecution charged Shalaby with possessing narcotics with the intent to use, sans legal authorization.
Shalaby denied the charges during the inquiry, and her lawyer was quick to make a plea during the trial hearing; he claimed that the actress had no connection to the seized substances.
Five testimonials were submitted to the prosecution by airport personnel who had inspected Shalaby’s luggage. This was corroborated by police investigation and recovered camera surveillance footage.
The 5 January verdict is liable to appeal within 60 days.