Five alleged officers in Israel’s Mossad spy agency and three Egyptians are to stand trial in absentia on Wednesday on charges of spying for the Jewish state, judicial sources in the country claimed on Sunday.
Egyptian prosecutors have accused all eight of espionage and supplying Israel with information critical to Egyptian national security.
The trial is expected to open with none of the defendants present, the sources said, because the alleged Mossad officers are currently “on the run” and it is unclear if the three Egyptians — all of whom hail from Rafah, located on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip — have been arrested.
The trial will be held in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya.
Another trial in Egypt, of a Jordanian engineer accused of having spied for Israel, is also underway.
Egyptian allegations of Mossad activity are a frequent occurrence. Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Druze citizen kept behind bars in Egypt for eight years on charges of espionage, is perhaps the most well known.
In 2011 Egyptian authorities also arrested US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel on charges of fomenting arrest during their revolution and being an Mossad operative. Israel freed 25 Egyptians in exchange for the release of Grapel after four months of imprisonment.
Sharks and storks have also been incriminated for aiding Israel’s secret service in recent years.
AFP contributed to this report.