Three-year old toddler Ziad Qanawi has been appearing in Cairo’s courts for the past month. Ziad makes his appearances in court before the judge in the arms of his lawyer Mahmoud el-Shenawy. He has been charged with resisting authorities and theft.
“It’s an absolute catastrophe. These are all fabricated cases. This is outside the legal confines of any country and I can’t believe that we are going through all this heartache,” Shenawy told IBTimes.
Shenawy claims that his toddler client has 10 cases outstanding, all on the same charges. These do not include the five other cases in which Ziad was accused in, of which he was acquitted in two cases, and two others referred for further investigation.
According to Shenawy, a high-ranking security official involved with a government-run quarry administration, has been issuing warrants that have been presented to the prosecution because of a dispute with Qanawi’s father, a construction contractor. The officer, who has judicial arrest powers, alleges that the toddler Ziad stole building materials from construction sites around Cairo. The security official further argues in the warrants that the three-year-old was driving negligently, endangering citizens’ lives, when confronted by authorities.
The case is one of the latest blunders from a highly politicised judiciary: “This is a tragic-comic farce situation and it keeps on getting more absurd by the day,” Shenawy said.
“You’ve destroyed his future, while the pacifier is still in his mouth,” he said lamenting about Ziad’s future after he is acquitted of all his charges.
Egypt ranked in the bottom 20 countries on the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index last year, which measures how well courts function.