Ousted President Morsi faces new espionage trial

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The Cairo Court of Appeals on Monday set Feb. 15, 2015 as the date to begin the trial of ousted Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, for allegedly leaking “classified documents” to Qatar, a judicial source said.

Morsi, who was forced to step down by the army in July 2013, already faces three other charges, including further cases of espionage. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The final verdict in all espionage cases will be announced on May 16, 2015.

Morsi, along with 35 other Muslim Brotherhood members, is facing prosecution on charges of “communicating with foreign organisations, leaking national security secrets and coordinating with jihadist organisations inside and outside Egypt to prepare for terrorist operations in Egypt.”

The role call of these organisations is said to include Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Among the defendants are the Muslim Brotherhood’s general guide, Mohammed Badie, and his deputy Khairat Al-Shater, as well as former parliamentary speaker Saad Katatni. Essam el-Erian and Mohamed Beltagy are also among the accused.

Morsi is scheduled to appear in court on April 21 for a final verdict to be passed on the case of his alleged incitement to kill demonstrators while he was still in power in 2012.

He is being tried along with 14 other defendants, including aides of the presidential team and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, on charges of inciting to kill 10 demonstrators in front of the Federal Presidential Palace on Dec. 5, 2012.

Morsi is also being tried on charges of escaping prison in 2011 with the complicity of the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah Islamist movements.

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Since ousting Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian authorities launched an extensive campaign against his supporters that resulted in the killing of 1,400 people and the arrest of more than 15,000 others.

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