Retrial of Israeli Spy Due in Egypt Sunday
The Egyptian Higher State Security Court will begin Sunday the retrial of Sherif Ezzat Al Filali, who is accused of providing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with military, political, economic and tourism information about Egypt, the Cairo-based Al Gomhuria daily reported.
The suspect is also accused of harming Egypt's national interests and receiving bribes from abroad.
The court session will be headed by Mohammed Abdel Mageed Shalabi and will include Abdel Azim Azzam and Mohammed Al Sawi as members.
In early September, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused to approve a security court's acquittal of Filali, and subsequently accepted a prosecutor's call for a retrial.
An appeals court ordered that Filali, 35, be arrested again, and set September 19 as the opening for a new trial in another branch of the state security court.
Filali was tried, along with a Russian who was absent from the proceedings, on charges that he collected information for Mossad on Egyptian military equipment, tourism and agriculture.
But the court acquitted Filali under a law absolving those who come forward before an investigation, although it said the truth of the charges against him had been proven.
The Russian, a former military officer whose whereabouts remain unknown, was sentenced in absentia to life in prison with hard labor.
Verdicts by the security court only become final after they are ratified by higher Egyptian authorities.
The state security prosecutor acknowledged in his July request that Filali had come forward, but maintained that he "did not inform the Egyptian intelligence services of his espionage activities ... and wanted instead to be a double agent."
The prosecution said that the ruling neglected to consider the confiscation of equipment found in Filali's house, which contained information connected to the country's national security, and failed to confiscate the money in his possession, which Filali said he had received from Israeli intelligence agents.
Filali had been detained since his arrest in September 2000, but was released after his acquittal – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)