Shukri: Turkey's criticism of Egyptian judiciary prevents positive relations

Monday 27-06-2016 12:18 PM

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

CAIRO, Jun 27 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shukri said on Sunday that Turkey's comments on the judicial sentences in the case in which ousted president Mohamed Mursi is accused of espionage are a setback for future bilateral positive relations.

The Turkish foreign ministry had criticised the sentences leveled against Mursi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group, in the court case known as the Qatar espionage case.

Earlier this month, 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. The verdict is subject to appeal.

In an iftar meeting with the editors-in-chief of various Egyptian newspapers, Shukri stated that Turkey's comments, "are against the will of the Egyptian people... and the Turkish position is unacceptable to Egyptian public opinion."

Qatar has also criticised the verdict issued in the espionage case, expressing concerns that its name was mentioned in the verdict.

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

Rumaihi also criticised 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 both Qatar and Turkey have deteriorated following the army's ouster of Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.

Qatar and Turkey were both strong supporters of Mursi's regime. 

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