By Sharif Paget
The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled unconstitutional a decree issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) preventing judges from lessening sentences in cases related to unlicensed firearms.
In 2012, the SCAF amended two articles in the act for acquiring and possessing unlicensed weapons. The amendments state that such crimes are excluded from article 17 of the penal code, which outline that “if the conditions of the crime…necessitate the judge’s lenity, the penalty may be changed”.
The question over the SCAF amendment arose when two individuals were arrested in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour in possession of an unlicensed machine gun. Damanhour Criminal Court thought the amendments unconstitutional, and requested that the SCC review them.
The SCC, headed by Judge and former interim president Adly Mansour, determined on Saturday that the amendments are unconstitutional. He ruled that judges should be allowed to extend leniency to be able to deliver lighter sentences, also in cases involving unlicensed firearms.