Court postpones Mursi espionage trial

Saturday 20-09-2014 01:39 PM
Court postpones Mursi espionage trial

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is seen behind bars during his trial at a court in Cairo May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer


CAIRO, Sept 20 (Aswat Masriya) – The Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Saturday the trial of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and 35 other defendants accused of espionage to September 29.

Mursi and the other defendants are charged with espionage, disclosing state secrets to foreign countries, funding terrorism, conducting military training to serve an international branch of the Brotherhood, and "endangering the independence, unity and safety of the state."

The court postponed the trial after allowing the defence team to look at the report issued by a technical committee established by the National Communication Regulatory Authority. The committee was tasked with looking into the presidency's emails and statements during Mursi's tenure from June 30, 2012 and until July 3, 2013.

The court received the report during the previous session on September 14.

Other defendants in the trial include Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat, as well as other group leaders and former presidential advisers. Sixteen defendants are being tried in absentia.

The court ordered on Saturday subjecting Shater to a medical examination. It also assigned the public prosecution to summon Adel Azab, a former official at Egypt's State Security (now known as Homeland Security) responsible for the Muslim Brotherhood's file within the authority.

The former president, ousted since July 2013, is implicated in a group of other court cases. He is being tried for inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during his tenure in December 2012, insulting the judiciary, and escaping from the Wadi al-Natroun Prison during the 18-day January 25 uprising in 2011.

Mursi, two of his aides and eight others were referred to trial on September 7 over new espionage charges which involve leaking classified national intelligence to the Qatari intelligence.

The prosecutor general's office said Mursi, the head of his presidential office Ahmed Abdelatti and his personal secretary  Amin al-Srifi leaked the intelligence with the help of eight "spies" and in exchange for a million dollars, adding that they were carrying out the instructions of the "terrorist" Muslim Brotherhood international organisation.

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