Cairo: Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood in sensitive positions inside the presidency to make it easier for him to pass over classified files connected with national security to foreign countries, investigations by the State Higher Security Prosecution revealed Tuesday.
Ousted president Mohamed Morsi along with 10 others will stand trial before the Criminal Court for leaking classified documents to Qatar.
The former president is accused of passing national security files to the Qatari intelligence and officials of the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV news channel upon orders from the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a statement, the prosecution said Morsi abused his position and delivered confidential files with the help of his office director Ahmed Abdel-Aati and special secretary Amin el-Serfi, to the Qatari intelligence and Al Jazeera officials in return for $1 million, the state-run MENA news agency reported.
They handed over the files to eight spies upon orders from the Muslim Brotherhood group, the prosecution said.
According to testimonies of some of the accused and findings during the course of investigations, Morsi disregarded regulations and gave his office director Abdel-Aati exceptional powers which allowed him to receive all reports coming to the presidency from sovereign institutions such as the public and military intelligence agencies, the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and the interior so as to be easily leaked to foreign parties.
The leaked documents included sensitive information about the Egyptian armed forces, their stationing locations and nature of arms as well as reports issued by the public and military intelligence agencies, the National Security Agency and the Administrative Control Authority and defence secrets, it said.
Morsi's secretary Serfi kept the classified files at his daughter Karima's residence, who handed them over to Asmaa el-Khatib (working for Muslim Brotherhood-run Rassd online news network), who in turn delivered them to Ahmed Ali (a documentary producer), and Alaa Seblan (a Jordanian correspondent working for Al Jazeera in Cairo), the statement revealed.
They converted the files to soft copies with the help of Khaled Hamdi (production director at MB Misr 25 satellite channel) and Ahmed Ismail (lecturer at Misr University for Science & Technology).
The Jordanian, Seblan, then travelled to Qatar and met with head of Al Jazeera's news section, Ibrahim Helal, and a Qatari intelligence officer at a hotel and agreed to hand over the classified files in return for $1 million, it said.
Seblan had received part of the money after having passed the files to Mohamed Kelani, a steward at EgyptAir, at Doha airport.
The National Security Agency arrested Mohamed Adel, Ahmed Ali, Khaled Hamdi, Ahmed Ismail and Karima el-Serfi, who all confessed in detail about the crimes, it added.
The prosecution ordered the arrest of the remaining suspects: Asmaa el-Khatib, Alaa Omar and Ibrahim Helal.