Final verdict on Israeli-Jordanian spying case due Aug. 20
Jordanian Bashar Abu-Zaid - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The State Security Emergency Court adjourned Thursday the trial session of a Jordanian telecommunication engineer and an Israeli officer charged with espionage to Aug. 20, when the court will issue its final verdict, Youm7 reported.

The State Security Prosecution has accused Israeli Ophir Harare, who is being tried in absentia, and Jordanian Bashar Abu-Zaid of tapping international Egyptian calls for Israeli intelligence services.

Abu-Zaid’s lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzoury asked the court to acquit his client, claiming that he had confessed to the crime under “unclear circumstances” while in custody. He also said there was no decisive evidence against Abu-Zaid, who was arrested in December 2010.

The court also listened to a prosecution appeal claiming all confessions were conducted without any oppression. The prosecution claimed there were messages between the Egyptian National Security Agency and the General Intelligence Directorate confirming all charges against the defendants.

The prosecution objected to the defense’s claims, and presiding Judge Adly Ibrahim Fadel ordered that legal procedures be taken for “insulting the prosecution.”

Ganzoury claimed the prosecution didn’t look into the evidence, apologized and said he did not mean to insult the prosecutor but insisted his client’s confession was coerced.

The prosecution asked the court for the maximum penalty against the defendant due to the confession he allegedly made of passing along international calls for Israel.  The maximum punishment would be three to five years in prison, not for espionage, but actually damaging the economy, as Egyptian law does not consider Abu-Zaid’s alleged actions espionage, but an economic crime.

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