Egypt: Nuclear engineer sentenced to life in prison for selling documents to Israel
A nuclear engineer at Egypt's state-run Atomic Energy Agency was convicted by an Egyptian court of spying for Israel on Monday and sentenced to life in prison.
Mohamed Sayed Saber Ali was accused of taking documents from Inshas, the site of one of Egypt's small nuclear reactors, and handing them for $17,000 to foreign agents said to be working for Israeli intelligence.
According to Reuters, the court also sentenced to life imprisonment two of Ali's alleged contacts -- an Irishman identified as Brian Peter and a Japanese. It tried the two foreigners in absentia.
Ali had pleaded not guilty to the charge of spying for Israel. After the verdict he looked shocked.
Ali admitted taking documents from his work place but he said that they had been published and were not secret. He told the court that he had met several times in Hong Kong with the two foreign defendants without at first thinking they might be working for Israel, and he told Egyptian authorities of the meetings after growing suspicious of the two men.
"I became sure in the fourth meeting that I was dealing with a strange party that was working for a foreign intelligence apparatus," he told the court. Egyptian security officers detained the 25 year old in February when he arrived in Cairo from one of several trips to Hong Kong.