Morsi appeals 40-year sentence in Qatar espionage case

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 15 Aug 2016

Two of Morsi's co-defendants appealed their death sentences, while four other co-defendants appealed 15-years prison sentences

File Photo: Egypt's former President Mohamed Morsi during a court hearing (Photo: Reuters)

Ousted former president Mohamed Morsi has appealed the Court of Cassation's verdict to uphold a June sentence of life in prison and an additional 15 years in what is known as the Qatar espionage case.

Two of Morsi's co-defendants appealed their death sentences, while four other co-defendants appealed sentences of 15 years in prison.  

In June, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Morsi to a total of 40 years in prison (life in prison carries a sentence of 25 years behind bars).

Ten defendants were tried in the case.

The court also confirmed death sentences against six of Morsi’s co-defendants in the case, four of whom are still at large.

Those defendants sentenced in absentia can only appeal their verdicts if they turn themselves in to authorities.

Morsi 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, also faced charges of leaking secret information on general and military intelligence, the armed forces, its armaments and other state secrets.

The six 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).

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 his other sentences are currently being appealed.

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