Egypt court sentences 6 to death for espionage
Six Muslim Brotherhood members including three journalists were on Saturday sentenced to death for leaking state secrets to Qatar by an Egyptian court, which postponed its verdict on ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Cairo: Six Muslim Brotherhood members including three journalists were on Saturday sentenced to death for leaking state secrets to Qatar by an Egyptian court, which postponed its verdict on ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The documents of the six defendants were referred to the Grand Mufti, who according to the Egyptian law must review all death sentences. His decision is, however, not binding.
Judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmy said that the final verdict will be announced on June 18 after the mufti's response.
Once the final verdict is issued, the sentences can be appealed.
Morsi as well as other defendants are charged with leaking classified documents to Qatar and selling them to Doha-based Al-Jazeera channel.
The defendants include Ahmed Abdo Ali Afifi, a documentary films producer who is in jail; Asmaa el-Khateeb, a reporter in Rassd news network (RNN) (sentenced in absentia), Alaa Omar Mohammed, a Jordanian news producer in Al-Jazeera channel (sentenced in absentia), and the news editor Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal in Al-Jazeera channel (sentenced in absentia).
Morsi's co-defendants include his office director and private secretary.
The classified documents allegedly included information on general and military intelligence, the armed forces, its armaments and the state's policy secrets.
Other charges include leading and joining outlawed group Muslim Brotherhood, that aims at changing the country's regime by force, and attacking army and police posts and public property.
The Egyptian government has been cracking down on Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters since the ouster of Morsi, which left thousands in jail and hundreds facing trials on a variety of charges.
Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie and 100 other leaders were sentenced in June to death for escaping from prison in 2011.
Badie and Morsi were also sentenced to life in prison in the espionage case.
Their sentences are currently in appeal.