US-Israeli citizen accused of spying in Egypt Ilan Grapel (R) looks at his mother Irene during a press conference in Jerusalem on October 27, 2011 after his release from an Egyptian jail
US-Israeli citizen accused of spying in Egypt Ilan Grapel (R) looks at his mother Irene during a press conference in Jerusalem on October 27, 2011 after his release from an Egyptian jail © Gali Tibbon - AFP/File
US-Israeli citizen accused of spying in Egypt Ilan Grapel (R) looks at his mother Irene during a press conference in Jerusalem on October 27, 2011 after his release from an Egyptian jail
AFP
Last updated: February 2, 2014

Egypt to try Mossad officers for spying

Five officers from Israel's Mossad spy agency and three Egyptians will stand trial on Wednesday on charges of spying for the Jewish state, judicial sources said.

Egyptian prosecutors have accused the eight of espionage and supplying Israel with information impacting Egypt's national security, the sources said on Sunday.

The trial is expected to open with none of the defendants present, the sources said, because the Mossad officers are "on the run" while it is not clear if the three Egyptians had been arrested.

The Egyptian suspects hail from Rafah, on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, they said, adding that the trial will be held in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya.

The trial of a Jordanian engineer accused of having spied for Israel is also underway in Egypt.

In October 2011, Israel freed 25 Egyptians in exchange for the release of a US-Israeli called Ilan Grapel, who had been held in Cairo for four months on spying charges.

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the first Arab country to have done that.

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