Ali Eweis, the boatman charged with the involuntary manslaughter of nine girls and the injury of three others after his boat sank in the Nile earlier this month, was sentenced to ten years in prison with hard labor.
His brother was sentenced to six months in prison for not renewing the boat’s license and for installing an engine without proper authorization. Bail for the brother has been set at LE1,000.
It its ruling, the court cited a report prepared by river navigation authorities that has shown that the boat had a maximum capacity of six persons, was operating with an expired license, and was unfit for use. In addition, the report said that the boat was not authorized to stop at gardens to collect passengers and had no life vests.
The prosecution called for the maximum sentence.
According to Eweis, “A group of girls, whose number I did not count, came on board and kept talking. They gathered on one side of the boat, causing it to sink.” The court said the boatman’s testimony proves that he made a mistake when he allowed all 20 girls to get on board.
The law gives the court the right to decide on the appropriate punishment, taking into consideration the circumstances in which the crime occurred. Since the victims were young girls and the defendant made fatal errors, it decided to impose the harshest penalty possible in order to deter anyone who puts people’s lives at risk to make money.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.