Egypt: Suspected mass sex abuser to go on trial

Cairo: Egypt’s chief prosecutor has ordered a criminal trial for a young man at the centre of alleged mass sex assaults over the past three years.

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The country’s public prosecutor Hamada Al Sawi referred the Egyptian man, identified as Ahmed Bassam Zaki, to the Criminal Court on charges of sexually assaulting three underage girls and blackmailing them and another woman of dishonouring them to coerce them into continuing sex relations with him.

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Ahmed, believed to be in his 20s, is also charged with violating the private life of one victim and taking drugs. No specific date has been set for his trial.

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The chief prosecutor’s decision came after investigations with Ahmed, who was arrested in July, and testimonies given by victims including screenshots of his text messages and phone chats, legal sources said Wednesday.

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In July, Ahmed was at the heart of a high-profile online campaign that accused him of sexually abusing and blackmailing dozens of Egyptian and foreign women, allegations that have sent shockwaves across Egypt.

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Scores of women turned to social media, posting chilling testimonies claiming that Ahmed, a former student at the American University in Cairo, had blackmailed them to succumb to his sexual demands.

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