Court to rule on spy case judge change in September

The Cairo Court of Appeals on Tuesday set 11 September to rule on a request to change the judges hearing the case of a Jordanian accused of spying for Israel.

Defense attorney Ahmed al-Ganzouri demanded in April that the panel of judges in the case be changed, claiming the current panel had already decided to convict his client, Bashar Ibrahim Abu Zeid, of treason.

Ganzouri justified his request by saying the court had repeatedly expressed its intention to hinder the defense and deny requests made in previous hearings.

Last week, the State Security Emergency Court, headed by Judge Makram Awad, adjourned the trial of Abu Zeid and Israeli Ophir Herare on charges of spying for Israel until 5 November.

Egyptian security forces arrested telecommunications engineer Abu Zeid in March 2011. He is alleged to have entered Egypt after the 25 January uprising to work as an agent for the Mossad.

Herare is accused of being responsible for overseeing Abu Zeid’s activities in Egypt. He is to be tried in absentia, having already fled Egypt.

According to Egyptian intelligence services, Abu Zeid and Herare agreed to intercept international calls coming into Egypt and transfer them to Israel, thereby allowing Israeli security services to eavesdrop on calls related to Egypt’s national security.

Investigators also claim that Herare charged Abu Zeid with searching for Egyptian intelligence agents working in the field of telecommunications.

Abu Zeid was also charged with collecting data on certain employees, especially those working with Egyptian mobile operators and who travel abroad for work, with the aim of recruiting suitable candidates to work for the Mossad.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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