Egypt to try Morsi over Qatar security papers

Egypt to try Morsi over Qatar security papers

Ousted Islamist president, already facing death penalty in several trials, accused of handing sensitive documents to Gulf state

Ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, left, during his trial in Cairo, Egypt, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube/euronews)
Ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, left, during his trial in Cairo, Egypt, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube/euronews)

Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi will be tried on charges of giving Qatar documents relating to national security, the state prosecutor said on Saturday.

The Islamist former head of state already faces the death penalty in several trials, and his supporters have been the target of a deadly crackdown by the authorities since his ouster in July 2013.

No date has yet been set for the new trial for Morsi, who is suspected of providing the sensitive documents to the energy-rich Gulf state during his single year of turbulent rule.

Morsi will go on trial for having “handed over to Qatari intelligence documents linked to national security… in exchange for one million dollars (772,000 euros)”, the prosecutor said in a statement.

Ten other defendants will be tried alongside Morsi, including his former secretary Amin El-Serafi, the ex-director of his office Ahmed Abdel Atti and Ibrahim Mohamed Helal, who is identified as a chief editor of the Doha-based Al-Jazeera network.

In the statement, the prosecutor said Morsi and Abdel Atti gave El-Serafi “extremely sensitive documents concerning the army, its deployment and weaponry” and he in turn gave them to Helal and to a Qatari intelligence operative.

It said that intermediaries, who were not identified, were used to send the documents to Helal and the Qataris.

The papers included documents from the “general and military intelligence offices of the State Security” apparatus, the prosecutor said.

Morsi, El-Serafi and Abdel Atti are all behind bars. Helal’s whereabouts are unknown.

In March the interior ministry accused El-Serafi of handing over to an Al-Jazeera chief editor and to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood documents regarding the army, its weaponry and troop deployments.

Relations between Egypt and Qatar soured after Morsi’s ouster, as Cairo criticised Doha’s backing for the Brotherhood — designated a terrorist group after Morsi’s overthrow on July 3, 2013.

Qatar has denounced Egypt’s crackdown on Morsi supporters which has left more than 1,400 people dead since his ouster.

Thousands more have been detained and imprisoned, and hundreds have been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials.

Morsi is already on trial in three separate cases — one over the killing of protesters during his presidency, another for allegedly conspiring with foreign powers including Iran to destabilise Egypt, and a third over a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi could face the death penalty if convicted.

Egypt has also jailed Al-Jazeera journalists on charges of helping the Brotherhood, triggering an international outcry.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

For as little as $6 a month, you can help support our independent journalism — and enjoy special benefits and status as a Times of Israel Community member!

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Join our community
read more: