CAIRO: Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Wednesday Jordanian spy Bashar Abu-Zaid to ten years and an Israeli Mossad officer to life in prison over espionage charges, Youm7 reported.
State Security Prosecution accused Israeli Ophir Harare, who is being tried in absentia, andJordanian Bashar Abu-Zaid of tapping international Egyptian calls for Israeli intelligence services.
Abu-Zaid’s lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzoury asked the court in the last session, which was on Jun.19, 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.
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 to Israel. The maximum punishment would be three to five years in prison, not for espionage, but damaging the economy, as Egyptian law does not consider Abu-Zaid’s alleged actions espionage, but an economic crime.