Egypt's Morsi sentenced to 40 years in Qatar espionage case

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Jun 2016

Cairo Criminal Court confirmed a death sentence against six of Morsi's co-defendants

File photo: Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi (Photo: Bassam Al Zoghby)

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Saturday ousted president Mohamed Morsi to life in prison and an additional 15-year prison sentence in what is known as the Qatar espionage case.

The court also confirmed the death sentences against six of Morsi’s co-defendants in the case.

Life in prison in Egypt is 25 years behind bars.

The verdicts can still be appealed.

The defendants sentenced to death include five men (Ahmed Abdo Afify, Mohamed Adel El-Kelany, Ahmed Ismail, Alaa Omar and Ibrahim Helal) and one woman (Asmaa El-Khateeb).

Three of the 10 defendants in the case are being tried in absentia. The three defendants can only appeal their verdicts if they turn themselves in to authorities.

Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013, was charged with using his post to leak classified documents to Qatar with the help of secretaries and Muslim Brotherhood figures.

Morsi and the head of his office, Ahmed Abdel-Ati, were also charged with leaking secret information on general and military intelligence, the armed forces, its armaments and other state secrets.

The prosecution argued that the two used their positions to pass files from the presidential office to Amin El-Serafy, a presidential secretary, who then passed them to his daughter, Karima, who gave them to agents to give to Qatar.

The other defendants – who include Ahmed Afify, a documentary producer; Mohamed Kilany, a flight attendant; Ahmed Ismail, a teaching assistant; and Khaled Radwan and Asmaa El-Khatib, two journalists for pro-Brotherhood TV channels – were charged with turning over copies of the classified documents to two staffers of the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera and an unknown Qatari intelligence officer.

The espionage case is the fourth major trial of Morsi on various criminal charges since his ouster in 2013.

Morsi has already been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in the "Ittihadiya case," received a death sentence in the Wadi Natroun Prison jailbreak case, and life over leaks to foreign groups, including militant groups Hamas and Hizbullah.

All other sentences are currently being appealed.


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