Investigation of ‘Israeli spy’ Ilan Grapel resumes in Egypt
Egyptian paper reports Grapel receives new defense attorney; sources deny claims of possible Israel-Egypt prisoner exchange deal.
By BEN HARTMAN
Egyptian state security services have relaunched their investigation into alleged Israeli spy, Ilan Grapel, after replacing the suspect’s previous attorney who resigned last week, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday.In addition, Al-Ahram reported that sources within Egypt have denied any validity to a report in the Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar on Sunday that claimed Israel had offered to release three Egyptian citizens in exchange for Grapel.RELATED:Report: Israel seeks prisoner exchange for Ilan Grapel 'Grapel spoke Arabic, prayed, supported Egypt uprising' Legal experts: Ilan Grapel fortunate to be US citizenEgyptian Attorney-General Hisham Bedri has granted the 27-year-old New York native the right to contact his family in the United States, Al-Ahram reported – adding that he spoke with his loved ones for 51 minutes while in the presence of a state official.The newspaper stated that Grapel told his family that he had not been harmed by Egyptian authorities, that his arrest was carried out legally and that his investigation is being carried out according to Egyptian law. Grapel also reportedly told his family that he is being provided with everything he asks for.Al-Ahram added that Egyptian authorities are adhering to human rights regulations in their handling of Grapel, and that the prisoner is being provided with an attorney at all times.Grapel was arrested at his downtown Cairo hotel by Egyptian state security officers last Sunday on suspicion of working for Israeli intelligence to foment sectarian strife and gather intelligence on post-revolution Egypt.The Emory University Law student, and dual Israeli- American citizen, traveled to Egypt this summer as part of his work for a charity helping African refugees.His family, friends and the Israeli government have categorically denied that he was working as a spy in Egypt.
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