The 26-year-old son of Judge Mahmoud al-Sayed al-Morly, Mohamed, was shot dead in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura on Wednesday.
According to media reports and eyewitness testimonies, unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle carried out the drive-by shooting and fled the scene.
The state-owned Al-Ahram news portal reported that the assailants shot Mohamed in the back, but did not explain the reason for the attack.
Various media outlets claim the assailants were targeting the son of Justice Hussein Qandil, a judge involved in the ongoing trial of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Some claim that the intended target was Judge Qandil himself, and others speculate it was Judge Morly the assailants were after.
Sources from the ministries of interior and justice reportedly dismissed these claims.
Citing unnamed security sources, the private Al-Wafd newspaper reported there is no relation between the Morsi trial and the killing of Judge Morly’s son, as he is not involved in the case.
In response to the incident, Al-Ahram reported that the Judges Club would hold an extraordinary session to examine the targeting of the judiciary in armed attacks, and how to prevent and deal with such threats.
Claims of politicization and the impartiality of Egypt’s judiciary have increased over the course of the past year. Several Egyptian judges have issued mass death sentences to more than a thousand Islamist protesters, while hundreds of life sentences and lengthy prison sentences have been handed to journalists and oppositional figures, including Islamists, leftists and liberals.
In an interview with the privately owned Youm7 news website on Wednesday, the Deputy Secretary General of the Judge’s Club, Justice Alaa Qandil, called for the establishing of a special security body to protect Egypt’s judges and their families.
Qandil claimed Egypt’s judges are just and impartial, adding that they “rule in accordance with God’s will.”