A former presidential spokesman for Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to six months in prison on Saturday on charges of aiding former prime minister Hisham Qandil in a failed attempt to flee the country, and for being part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Yasser Ali's lawyer, Ibrahim Hamam, told Ahram Online that Ali has already spent over six months in jail since his arrest a year ago, and thus should be released. According to Hamam, he is not wanted in relation to any other cases.
The post-Morsi authorities declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in December 2013. Membership of the group or support for its activities are now criminal offences.
During investigations, the prosecution confronted Ali with testimonies from Hisham Qandil, prime minister during Morsi’s presidency, and other figures that revealed that he had assisted them in escaping the authorities.
In September 2013, Cairo Misdemeanour Court upheld a ruling against Qandil sentencing him to one year in prison for failing to implement an Administrative Court verdict ordering the re-nationalisation of the Tanta Flax and Oil Company.
Qandil attempted to flee Egypt for Sudan in December 2013, but was prevented from leaving and was detained. He was released in July on appeal, with his jail sentence quashed.
Ali was a Brotherhood member and a former spokesperson for its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, and for Mohamed Morsi during his presidency. He resigned from his post as Morsi’s spokesman in February 2013, saying he felt the media was attacking him personally.
After his resignation as spokesman, Ali worked for the cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) until Morsi's removal on 3 July.