Egyptian Accused of Spying for Mossad Retracts Challenge of Court Competence
An Egyptian engineer being retried on charges of spying for Israel "apologized" to the high state security court for having challenged its competence at a hearing last month.
Sherif al-Filali raised the challenge at the onset of a hearing on February 27, triggering a walkout by his own lawyer.
However, on Thursday he "apologized to the court for having challenged it," the official MENA news agency reported, adding that the defendant said his "spirits were low" at the time.
Filali changed his mind a day after the last hearing and his lawyer Ahmed Saeed Abdel Khaleq also went back on his decision and said he will pursue his defense, MENA said.
The court has set the next hearing for March 9, the agency added.
Filali, aged 35, is accused of passing secrets on Egyptian military hardware to the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, in the years 1999 and 2000.
He was acquitted by another chamber of the same court in June 2001 but Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, acting under emergency laws in force for the past two decades, agreed in September to a prosecution request for a retrial.
The engineer was arrested in Cairo in September 2000, released after his acquittal, then re-arrested after the retrial was announced. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)