Egypt resumes Morsi 'espionage' trial

Egypt resumes Morsi 'espionage' trial
The 'espionage trial' of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi resumes Saturday following conflicting testimonies over the leaking of national security documents.
3 min read
02 January, 2016
The ousted president is accused of leaking important national security documents. [Getty]
The trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and ten other members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood resumes Saturday at the Cairo Criminal Court as part of the so-called 'Qatar espionage' case.

The defendants are accused of 'leaking important national security documents and information on the Egyptian armed forces' to Qatar, through the Qatari-based al-Jazeera news network.

The leaks allegedly happened during Morsi's spell as president between 2012 and 2013.

Saturday's session is set to hear witness testimonies from members of the Egyptian Republican Guard including the former chief Brigadier General Mohamed Zaki, Major Mohamed Tariq and Major General Osama Alguindy.

During its last session, the criminal court subpoenaed the alleged leaked documents. Prosecutors said they had been moved from the office of Ahmed Abdulaati, head of Morsi's presidential office, to the official presidential residence at Abdeen Palace.

The documents reportedly contain classified information from the ministry of defence and information on state security. They were not submitted to the court as they have been 'given' to other parties.

Defence lawyer Alaa Alamaddin's request during the court's last session for the disclosure of further documents allegedly transferred to Abdeen Palace was not approved.

Prosecutors objected to the subpoena saying that only specific documents transferred to the palace were leaked.

They said there was no need to present other documents in court because they could lead to the disclosure of further state secrets.

Alamaddin said the documents requested could disprove the allegation that 11 of the documents given to the accused contained classified information about the armed forces.
Several others are standing trial on espionage charges alongside the former president.

It is clear from the reports and the testimony of Major General Wael Shusha of the Republican Guards that incorrect and falsified information is being presented, said Alamaddin.

The purpose of requesting further records is not to disclose state secrets but to prove that classified state documents were protected under an order issued by head of the presidential office Abdulaati, Alamaddin added.

The court also heard the testimony of the former representative of the head of Morsi's presidential office, Major General Abdulmomin Foada.

Foada said he had received three files and an order from Abdulaati to keep them safe under the security of the presidential guard.

Some of the leaked documents do not contain important information but have been retained in the case file to increase the total number of allegedly leaked documents, according to Shusha's testimony.

A documentary maker, flight attendant, teaching assistant and several journalists are standing trial on espionage charges alongside the former president.

Morsi, who was elected president in June 2012, was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup following protests against him.

Since then Morsi has faced multiple charges in five trials, including conspiring with foreign groups and degrading Egypt's judiciary.

In June 2015, an Egyptian court confirmed a death sentence handed out to the former president and dozens of others over an alleged jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

Their trial has been condemned by various human rights organisations including Amnesty International.