Egypt critcises Qatari statements on espionage case verdict

Sunday 19-06-2016 12:12 PM

The building of Egypt's Foreign Ministry. ASWATMASRIYA/ Ahmed Hamed

CAIRO, Jun 19 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's foreign ministry criticised on Sunday the Qatari statement that condemned the verdict issued on Saturday against  former president Mohamed Mursi and 10 others in the case dubbed as "Qatar espionage case".

In a statement following the verdict, Qatar condemned mentioning its name in the verdict.

On Saturday, the Cairo criminal court sentenced six defendants in the case to death and handed Mursi 40 years in prison.

The case involves a total of 11 defendants who are accused of leaking important national security documents and information on the Egyptian Armed Forces to Qatar during Mursi's tenure.  

The former president received a life sentence (25 years) for leading a "terrorist group" and 15 years for leaking classified documents but was cleared of the espionage charge.

The verdict is subject to appeal.

Director of the Information Office at Qatar's foreign ministry, ambassador Ahmed Al Rumaihi said the verdict is "unfounded, goes against truth and contains misleading claims which are contrary to the policy of the State of Qatar towards all sister countries".

Rumaihi also criticized the charge of espionage for Qatar leveled against the defendants in the case, saying that it is "surprising and unacceptable".

He added that "such verdicts which lack the proper sense of justice and which are founded on reasons unrelated to the law, but on other known reason, do not help in consolidating the fraternal ties and relations between the sister countries."

In response, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the issuance of such statements from Qatar "is not a surprise" from whoever "devoted resources and efforts" over the past years to direct media against the Egyptian people, their state and institutions.

Abu Zeid praised the Egyptian judiciary system and said it will not be affected by such claims.

Egyptian ties with Qatar have deteriorated following the army's ouster of Mursi in July 2013, which was prompted by mass protests against his rule.

Qatar was a strong supporter of Mursi's regime. Its protest over the Islamist president's ouster led to tension with other gulf states who support Egypt's new regime, mostly Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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