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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Egypt to try Morsi for handing Qatar national security docs

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Morsi - European External Action Services-Flickr

Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi is going to be tried on charges of handing national security documents to Qatar in exchange for US$1 million, the country’s state prosecutor has announced.

Morsi is being charged along with 10 co-defendants – including Al Jazeera Arabic’s Director of News, Ibrahim Helal.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Doha-based broadcaster said:

“Any information Al Jazeera receives is handled with the highest standard of journalistic ethics. We do not therefore comment on sources, or pass information to governments.”

According to news wire AFP, Egypt’s prosecutor issued a statement yesterday in which he said Morsi and the 10 co-defendants 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).”

Helal - Al Jazeera - Linkedin
Ibrahim Helal is Al Jazeera Arabic's news director.

The prosecutor went on to describe the case as “the biggest act of treason carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood against the country.” In March this year, Egypt’s Interior Ministry accused Morsi’s ex-Secretary – Amin El-Serafi – of giving “extremely sensitive documents concerning the army, its deployment and weaponry” to an Al Jazeera chief editor and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. No date for the trial has yet been set.

Charges against Morsi

Morsi already faces the death penalty if convicted of charges in cases relating to several other pending trials. One case involves the killing of protesters during his one-year presidency, while in another he is accused of conspiring with foreign powers including Iran to destabilize Egypt. A third relates to a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising that led to former president Hosni Mubarak being deposed. When Morsi was overthrown in July 2013, Egypt’s military rulers outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters have been subjected to a crackdown by the authorities. Human rights activists say this has led to 1,400 people killed and 16,000 others detained. Additionally, relations between Qatar and Egypt have soured, due to Qatar’s links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Jazeera journalists

In June, three Al Jazeera English journalists were given prison sentences after being convicted of charges relating to spreading false news and supporting the Islamist movement.

AJ three Twitter

Correspondent Peter Greste and producer Mohamed Fahmy were each jailed for seven years, while their producer colleague Baher Mohamed was handed an additional three years for possession of ammunition, for a total sentence 10 years.

Seven other Al Jazeera journalists who were tried in absentia were given 10-year prison sentences.

The three journalists – whose lawyers filed an appeal of their convictions late last month – have now been behind bars for a total of 253 days. Al Jazeera has maintained the innocence of their staff throughout.

Internationally, journalists continue to call for the freedom of their peers, through social media, using the hashtag #FreeAJStaff.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper was one of many news organizations that marked the 250 days with a photograph of their newsroom staff, with mouths gagged and carrying signs bearing the slogan.

Thoughts?

22 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

so Qatar bought the world cup for $5 million and now it appears it has bought Egyptian state secrets for $1 million! is it me or would this be more plausible if the amount was larger….

can help but think of Dr. Evil’s image demanding $1 million dollars or he would destroy the world.. all that’s missing is the dramatic Egyptian soap opera music in the background.. !!

this is nothing more than the proxy war being fought between AD and Doha in Cairo which was the major issue behind the GCC ambassador withdrawals few months ago…

not to knowledgeable on Egyptian politics and not a fan of the Muslim brotherhood… google tells me morsi was the first democratically elected president of Egypt who won 51.2% of the public vote only to be overthrown by a military leader … and the EU/US/UK rejected putting the Muslim brotherhood on their official terror list while the current military govt of Egypt and UAE did…

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

everyone keeps saying he was democratically elected, I would like to know just how democratic elections in Egypt were. Not disagreeing with anything you said, just sayin

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

If the past is any indicator then I’d have to say not very democratic, open or true.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

It was indeed very democratic and it is international NGOs and UN inspectors who said that. They were there to monitor the whole process and their conclusion is that it was fine.
It is about facts not personal judgments.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You never know what the agenda was

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Looking at it from a distance (time and space), it seems like it was cooked by the military for Morsi to win the first elections:

1- People were given an easy choice between 2 people, Morsi (MB) and the last prime minister of Egypt under Hosni Mubarak… Morsi won with 51%
2- It gave the army a year to regroup, think, and act.
3- It looks like everybody in the government was working against him.
4- It looks like Morsi and the MB failed in getting Egypt’s people and political parties to work with them.
5- Make the MB fail miserably, and use it as an excuse to stop any future Muslim/Islamist elections…
6- A general is asked by the people to lead, he resigns, becomes a civilian, and wins the elections with 96.91%.

I have nothing against the current president, I don’t know anything but I like to over-analyze politics…

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

You sir are doing a fine job with your analysis in my opinion

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

So can you show me FACTS that there was NO irregularities? They only received 51% of the vote so it wasn’t a landslide victory or anything. Wouldn’t have taken a lot of tampering to get that 1%. Maybe they were just smart enough to NOT be like Mubarak who claimed 99% all the time.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Can you give me FACTS about the tampering you are talking about? As for me, I followed the elections and I know very well there were no serious concerns raised about its fairness whether from local or international monitors and NGOs. It is up to you to bring the proof about tampering now.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You’re in the spotlight now desertCard, give us conclusive proof, NOW!

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Here is one link. Do the search for the rest 🙂
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/mohamed-morsi-victory-landmark (Paragraph 2)

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

The elections were reasonably fair, of course some cheating and intimidation went on but nothing like an election in North Korea. The military staged a coup against all international norms, if they had evidence against Morsi they should have used the courts not their guns.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Actually, $1 million is maybe even high. Americans during the cold war sold state secrets for far less.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

that was decades ago and probably not the head of state who sold the secrets…

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Also depends on the info bought and sold. Maybe the info was deemed worth $1mill. If they’d bought all the intelligence I’m guessing more then.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

Is this the Onion? Seriously, Sissi made Egypt a joke, but definitely not a funny one if you see the number of people who died just because they oppose military dictatorship. To my knowledge Morsy did not kill any opponent when he was president.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

So the pro govt supporters were killed by who? And who do you think directed their actions?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Although Qatar was the sugar daddy for the Muslim Brotherhood and their Sunni Islamist agenda, I don’t believe for one minute that Morsi would have sold state secrets to Qatar and definitley would not have put it in writing!

A trumped up charge to secure him a long jail sentence or even death. It just goes to show Egypt will be a mess for many years to come.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Depends entirely on what the courts are calling “state secrets”. Water tables and grain stores can be considered state secrets in come contexts. The point is that tif they look hard enough they will find something that they can use.

Parwaiz Win
Parwaiz Win
6 years ago

Love the picture if only what the picture claims to represent is true. The day AJ staff reports news that are critical of Qatar…that ill be the day I will have respect of AJ. Until than … yes … Journalism is not a crime but selective journalism must surely be a crime to real level minded journalist.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Parwaiz Win

@parwaiz_win:disqus … Do you know about any journalism anywhere around the world that isn’t selective these days?

Parwaiz Win
Parwaiz Win
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

I agree with your statement but don’t you feel the total silence of AJ on anything critical of Qatar is too obvious ? No country is perfect and no one is perfect; hence AJ as a global tv company should at least speak their mind about some shortcomings concerning Qatar….or do you prefer to continue living thinking Qatar is perfect when we all know it is not. Maybe…some criticism from AJ will wake Qatari authorities up and also allow AJ to move away from growing perception that it is nothing but a political apparatus. I mean…most media are but at least they also cover stories critical of the country of origin.

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