Appeal made to Egyptian court against death sentence on Seychellois


17-April-2013

Ambasador Omar in talks with Vice-President Faure on Monday
The Egyptian court is taking the appeal under consideration and a final answer will be given in 30 days.

This was said by the Egyptian vice-minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mona Omar, to the press after she paid a courtesy visit to Vice-President Danny Faure at State House on Monday.
She was accompanied by her country’s ambassador to Seychelles, Kadri Abdel-Mottaleb, and the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam.

Among the various subjects discussed by Ambassador Omar and VP Faure were the fate of Seychellois Ronny Jean, Yvon Vinda and Dean Loze who have been sentenced to death on drug trafficking charges in Egypt.

Ambassador Omar said the normal sentence for drug trafficking in Egypt is the death penalty and traffickers should know that their illegal actions are putting them at risk of being sentenced to death.

“The Seychelles government has very good diplomatic relations with Egypt and hopefully the justice system will take this into consideration,” she said.
Minister Adam told the press that they cannot guarantee success at this stage, since the judiciary is separate from the executive but they had nevertheless submitted an appeal to the Egyptian Ministry of justice.

“Since Seychelles is against the death penalty, we are asking the Egyptian government to consider clemency and commute the sentence to life imprisonment,” he said.

“We have made clear our position, and we thank the Egyptian government for making sure that our case is heard, since we do believe that there are mitigating circumstances that can be taken into consideration. What we also want to make clear though is that both Seychelles and Egypt have zero-tolerance policies on drug trafficking, and this needs to be recognised on the outset of any discussion that is to take place on the issue.”

Ambassador Omar said when the death penalty is imposed in Egypt, the courts usually pronounce death by hanging.
Among the other topics discussed at State House meeting on Monday with VP Faure was Egypt’s ongoing friendly vision towards Seychelles.

Minister Adam said Egypt was one of the first African countries to respond when Seychelles was hit by disaster in January, through donations of medicine to the Ministry of Health.

“We have discussed cooperation in the health sectors, and other sectors like agriculture and for the police, strengthening our partnership in the fight against other criminal activities. We also talked on cooperation in tourism, and in improving air access through the signing of a bilateral air services agreement,” he said.

Ambassador Omar said talks were held on the possibilities of having an investment promotion and the signing of an agreement for the avoidance of double-taxation to ease ventures of mutual interest for both countries.

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