Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday ratified a decision by an emergency court to sentence an Egyptian engineer to 15 years in jail with hard labor for spying for Israel, court sources said.
35-year-old Sherif al-Filali was found guilty March 23 by Cairo's high state security court of passing military secrets to Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad. The court handed down the prison sentence and fined him 1,000 Egyptian pounds (220 dollars).
As military governor under emergency laws in force since 1981, Mubarak is the only one who can cancel or ratify verdicts handed down by the high state security court.
In the memorandum ratifying the sentence, he said "the court applied the law correctly and handed down a sentence which corresponds to the acts committed," court sources said, according to AFP.
Sources close to the prosecution had said Filali admitted receiving 5,000 dollars to gather intelligence on the Egyptian army's equipment, tourism in the country and a giant irrigation project in the southern desert.
Meanwhile, Filali was acquitted by another chamber of the court in June 2001 but the Egyptian leader, acting under laws in force since the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat, agreed in September to a prosecution request for a new trial. The engineer was arrested in Cairo in September 2000, released after his acquittal, then re-arrested after the re-trial was announced.
A former Russian military officer identified by the court as Grigory Sergeyevich, who was accused of recruiting Filali, was given a life sentence of 25 years in prison in absentia. He was also fined 1,000 pounds.
In the meantime, another Egyptian accused of spying for Israel, Magdi Anwar Mohammed Tawfiq, went on trial May 11 in an emergency court in Alexandria. (Albawaba.com)
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