Church to sue prime minister over New Year’s Eve church Bombing

Arabic Edition

The Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria has announced plans to sue Prime Minister Essam Sharaf for failing to reveal who was behind he New Years Eve church bombing that left 23 Copts dead on 1 January, said a church official on Tuesday.

News reports have said that documents seized from the now-disbanded State Security Investigation Services (SSIS) after the revolution implicated ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly in the attack. This information, however, has not been confirmed by any official source.

Adly had previously claimed “conclusive evidence” showed that the Gaza-based Army of Islam was behind the planning and execution of the attack – the deadliest against Copts in more than a decade – which sparked three days of rioting by Copts in Cairo and several other cities. The group, however, denied its involvement in the church bombing.

Nader Morcos of the Coptic Ecclesiastical Council in Alexandria criticized the slow pace of the investigation and lack of steps taken to compensate families of those killed, eight months after the attack took place. On Tuesday, Morcos added that the lawyer for the church and the families of those killed, Joseph Malak has been assigned to file the lawsuit against Sharaf.

Morcos went on to say the lawsuit would also be filed against Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, Justice Minister Mohamed Abdul Aziz al-Gindi and Interior Minister Mansour Essawy.

He added that the cathedral had filed dozens of complaints with the authorities, but that no action had been taken.

Morcos said a detailed report on the latest developments in the church bombing would be handed over to Pope Shenouda III upon his return from the US. Shenouda is scheduled to return back to Cairo on Thursday following a medical trip which began on 22 August.

Translated from the Arabic Edition