Egyptian accused of spying for Israel gets 15 years in jail

Mohammed el-Attar's lawyer maintains client confessed under duress; prosecution denies allegations.

Egypt spy 298.88 ap (photo credit: AP)
Egypt spy 298.88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The State Security Emergency Court on Saturday convicted an Egyptian-Canadian man of spying for Israel and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Three Israelis charged alongside el-Attar also received 15 years in prison. Mohammed el-Attar, 30, and the Israeli defendants had been on trial since Feb. 24 at the Cairo court. El-Attar flashed a victory sign when he entered the courtroom surrounded by dozens of security personnel and was rushed to a waiting police van after the verdict was issued. Prosecutors said earlier el-Attar confessed to spying for Israel and gave a detailed account of his role in collecting information about Egyptians and Arabs living in Turkey and Canada in return for money. He also allegedly received instructions from the three Israelis, said to be intelligence officers, to recruit Christian Egyptian immigrants in Canada using money and sex. El-Attar's defense lawyer Ibrahim el-Basyuni has said his confession was made under duress while being interrogated. The defendant told the court in an earlier session he confessed because he was tortured with electric shocks. However, Prosecutor Hani Hamoodah has insisted the defendant made the confession freely and without coercion.