Thursday, 23 June 2011

Egypt Sentences 2 Israelis To Life For Spying For Israel

An Egyptian court sentenced two Israelis who were tried in absentia, and an Egyptian businessman, to life in prison on Thursday for spying for Israel.

Egypt arrested businessman Tarek Abdel Rezek Hussein, 37, the owner of an import-export firm, in August for involvement in the recruitment of operatives working for telecoms firms in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

The two Israelis, who have not been arrested but were accused of being part of the spy ring, were also convicted and sentenced by the emergency state security court.

Hussein was accused of accepting $37,000 to provide Israel with information about Egyptians working in telecoms companies who could be recruited to spy in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

The rulings were issued by judge Gamal el-Din Safwat Rushdi, witnesses in court said.

The case is separate from one involving Ilan Grapel, 27, a dual US-Israeli citizen who was detained on June 12 on suspicion of spying. Israel has denied he is a spy.

Over the years, Egypt has arrested a number of people accused of spying for Israel.

In 2007, Egypt convicted a 31-year-old Egyptian-Canadian dual national of spying for Israel. Three Israelis were charged in absentia. Israel dismissed the case as a fabrication.

In 1996, Egypt sentenced Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Arab textile worker, to 15 years in jail for spying for Israel. Egypt said Azzam had passed messages in women's underwear using invisible ink.

Both Azzam and Israel denied the charges. He was released after serving eight years as part of a deal that included the release of six Egyptian students in Israel.

Egypt: Israeli 'spy' fluent in Arabic

Cairo daily reports alleged spy Ilan Grapel's interrogation sessions are held without help of interpreter since he 'speaks Arabic fluently'

Egyptian daily al-Masri al-Youm reported Wednesday that alleged Israeli apy Ilan Grapel, who was arrested in Egypt last week, does not require the help of an interpreter in his integrations, as he is fluent in Arabic.

Cairo may be trying to use this "damning" evidence to substantiate its espionage allegations.

A legal source quoted by the paper said that Cairo authorities had proof that Grapel met with Egyptian revolutionaries during the days of riots in Tahrir Square.

The interrogations have so far ascertained that Grapel entered Egypt through the Cairo International Airport on the first week of the anti-regime riots, using his American passport. He claimed to be a correspondent with a foreign news agency.

At this point, al-Masri al-Youm said, Grapel joined a group of "real reporters," but parted with them several days later, in favor of what the newspaper called "his mission."

Egypt's al-Ahram weekly reported that Grapel was allowed to speak with his parents for the first time Tuesday. The conversion lasted nearly an hour, during which he "stressed that he was detained legally, according to a Prosecution Warrant, that the intelligence officers are treating him humanely and that all his needs are being met.",7340,L-4085599,00.html

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