Egpyt’s ousted president Mohamed Mursi faces a new espionage trial on February 15 on charges of leaking “classified documents” to Qatar and Al-Jazeera television, a judicial source said Monday.
Mursi, ousted in July 2013 by the army, is already facing three other trials, including another case of alleged espionage, and could face the death penalty if ruled guilty.
In the new espionage trial, Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and nine others are accused of “handing over to Qatari intelligence documents linked to national security in exchange for one million dollars,” a prosecution statement said.
It said the case against the suspects, of whom seven are in custody, represented “the biggest act of treason and espionage” ever carried out against Egypt.
Mursi is facing three other trials — inciting the killing of protesters in clashes outside a presidential palace, conspiring to destabilize Egypt involving foreign powers, and attacking police stations during a jailbreak in the 2011 uprising against longtime president Hosni Mubarak.
Trials against Mursi and several leaders of his blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood are part of a crackdown targeting his supporters that has left hundreds dead, thousands jailed and hundreds sentenced to death after speedy trials.
Qatar, where the broadcaster Al-Jazeera is based, had always supported Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which posted strong electoral gains after Mubarak’s ouster.
After his successor Mursi was also toppled, however, the authorities banned the Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization”.
Egypt confirms death sentences for 183 men over police killings
An Egyptian court on Monday confirmed death sentences against 183 men convicted of killing 13 police officers in a town near Cairo in August 2013.
In December the court had issued its preliminary verdict against 188 defendants in a mass trial, of which two were acquitted on Monday while one was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Charges against the remaining two were dropped after the court discovered that they were dead.