Four Egyptians accused of spying for Al-Qaeda face death penalty

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 12 Jan 2015

The Grand Mufti reviews the court's capital punishment decisions before judges issue final ruling

Funeral of 4 jihadists killed in Sinai attack (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian criminal court referred the case of four young men on trial on charges of spying for Al-Qaeda to Egypt's Grand Mufti to review the preliminary death penalty verdict reached on Monday.

The final verdict is set for 8 February.

The court also ordered the arrest of the four men who have been at large.

Egypt's law mandates that preliminary death sentences reached by criminal courts be reviewed by the country's Grand Mufti. The court, however, maintains the privilidge of issuing a final verdict.

The men were tried on charges of belonging to Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation and for spying for it by cooperating in terrorist acts against the armed forces in Sinai, the American and French embassies, and their representatives in Egypt.

The four men, who include a 33-year-old mechanic, a 22-year-old accountant and a 24-year-old law student, were also accused of establishing an "unlawful" group between 2008 and 2013 "in order to obstruct the implementation of the constitution and functioning of state institutions, and violating the citizens' personal freedom."

The court convicted the men of providing Al-Qaeda with information about positopns of armed forces and detailed maps of its operations.

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