Accused Egyptian Spy for Israel Acquitted
An accused Israeli spy, Egyptian engineer Sherif Al Filali, was acquitted in Cairo on Wednesday, but a Russian who was tried in absentia, Gregory Jifens, was sentenced to life in prison in the same case, AFP said.
Filali was not present for the ruling in Cairo's high state security court, but family members were, and several cried out "long live justice."
Filali was arrested on September 27 at his home in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis on charges of having spied for the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.
The 34-year-old Egyptian civil engineer was charged, along with Jifens, with gathering information on Egypt's industrial, agricultural and tourism projects, previous reports said.
According to the Egyptian Intelligence Department, Filali was hired by Mossad to find out about military cooperation between Egypt and Iraq, and on the status of Russian-made weapons used by the Egyptian army.
Under police interrogation, reports said that Filali confessed to the spying charges.
Filali received his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1990, and continued his post-graduate work in Frankfurt, Germany.
In Germany, the government alleged, a Jewish woman named Irena recruited Filali.
Israel has denied the allegation, as well as the charge that Filali worked for the Mossad.
The state prosecutor sought the maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for Filali.
The last person to be jailed for spying for Israel was Azzam Azzam.
He was sentenced in 1997 to 15 years in prison – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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