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- Court Reasons for Morsi lifetime sentence
Court announces reasons behind lifetime sentence against Morsi and death sentences against 16 MB leaders
Thursday، 02 July 2015 12:00 AM
Cairo Criminal Court has announced the reasons behind its recent ruling in the case of espionage with foreign parties and organizations and disclosing national security secrets along with coordinating with Jihadist organizations inside and outside Egypt arranging for terrorist operations inside Egypt. The court sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Mohamed Badei and 15 other MB leaders to lifetime imprisonment term and 16 other defendants, including 13 in absentia, to death atop of whom was MB deputy leader Khairat el-Shater while two defendants were sentenced to seven years in prison.
The court panel was presided over by Chief Justice Counselor Shaaban el-Shamy with Counselors Yasser el-Ahmadwi and Nasser Barbary as members.
The court expounded the reasons behind its verdict in 385 pages refuting 25 arguments by the defense throughout the sessions of the trial which started on February 16 last year. The court explained that it has applied article 17 of the penal code using clemency with the defendants who were sentenced to lifetime terms; therefore they were not sentenced to death. These defendants include Mohamed Morsi, Mohamed Badei, Mohamed Saad el-Katatny, Essam el-Eryan, Saad Esmat el-Husseiny, Hazem Mohamed Farouk, Essam el-Haddad, Mohey Hamed, Ayman Aly, Safwat Hegazy, Khaled Saad Hassanein, Gihad Essam el-Haddad, Eid Ismail Dahroug, Ibrahim Khalil el-Drawy, Kamal el-Sayyed Mohamed, Samy Amin Hussein el-Sayyed and Khalil Usama el-Akeed.
The court said it was sure that the defendants have committed the crimes they are charged with and that all charges were associated and inseparable as all of the crimes were aimed at achieving one criminal act. The court explained that it did not take into consideration the defendants' denial of all accusations and deemed it as some sort of self-defense with a view to evading justice and disclaiming criminal responsibility and its consequences. The court further added that the defense team was not able to change the view of the court, especially that there was clear evidence that the defendants have committed these crimes.
The court asserted that it was fully sure of the authenticity and seriousness of investigations that were carried out by the National Security Agency, the Intelligence Service and the Interior Ministry's National Security Authority regarding this case.
The investigations included thorough details and data regarding the names of the defendants and their affiliations to some groups and organizations and the criminal acts that were committed by each of them and the role of each defendant in the organization to which he belongs.
The court had clear evidence that defendants Mohamed Morsi, Essam el-Haddad, Mohey Hamed, Ahmed Abdel Aty, Mohamed Refaa el-Tahtawy and Assad el-Sheikha had divulged a defense secret of the homeland to a foreign country and operatives working for the interests of this country where they handed over to elements of the Iranian revolutionary guard several classified reports that were issued from the national security department of the Intelligence Service. The reports contained classified information about the outcome of activities by Iranian elements that were aimed at destabilizing the homeland. The court also found out that these defendants in their capacities as civil servants (the president of the republic at the time, presidential assistant for foreign relations and international cooperation, an adviser to the president for planning, director of the office of the president, head of the presidential Cabinet and deputy head of the presidential Cabinet) have disclosed a defense secret of the country when they divulged the content of classified reports No. (344, 416, 539, 633, 636) that were issued by the Intelligence Service to the presidency of the republic without having a written permit from the head of the Intelligence Service to publish or transmit these reports. In light of the aforementioned facts, the court found out that the defendants have committed a full-fledged crime. This is why the court has turned down the defense argument to the effect that these practices would not constitute a crime given the fact that this argument lacks legal basis.
The court indicated that it had found out from the investigations in the case and in light of the different probes and testimonies of the eyewitnesses that since 2005 and after US statements about (constructive chaos) and efforts for creating a new Middle East, the MB international organization, which is based outside the homeland, has led action inside and outside Egypt to implement these statements. So, it issued directives to the MB inside Egypt, in coordination with the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, to follow up the internal situation in Egypt and capitalize on the state of popular anger against the incumbent regime at that time in a bid to implement this plot through creating a state of chaos in the homeland and undermining the Egyptian State and its institutions in an effort to seize power by violence through the assistance of combat elements from Hamas and Hezbollah and others from the MB group who were trained in the Gaza Strip by Hamas movement.
The court expounded the reasons of its verdict which were based on investigations that showed that the MB international organization issued instructions to the group inside Egypt to seek establishing strong contacts with some Islamist movements and foreign ruling regimes along with some associations and societies abroad. The instructions also included outlining studies about the situation in some countries, including Egypt. The court said it has confidence in the report of investigations that was compiled by Lt. Colonel Mohamed Mabrouk, an officer with the National Security Sector, on July 27, 2013, which uncovered several meetings that were held by the defendants Mohamed el-Beltagui, Mohamed Saad el-Katatny, Saad Esmat el-Husseiny, Hazem Mohamed Farouk and Ayman Ali in the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 with members of the consultative council of the MB international organization and leaders of Palestinian movement Hamas in several countries atop of which comes Turkey. At these meetings, they reviewed means of dealing with the internal situation in Egypt and reached an agreement on establishing an international institution that works for ensuring contacts between the MB inside Egypt and its international organization to circumvent security monitoring.
The court indicated that it found out that the MB international organization in the year 2008 coordinated efforts with the MB group inside Egypt and the Lebanese Hezbollah group and Palestinian Hamas movement to form terrorist organizations for armed interference in Egypt when a state of chaos breaks out.
According to the court, telephone contacts that were tapped after a permit from the Supreme State Security Prosecution on January 9, 2011 for defendants Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Abdel Aty in the period from January 21-26 of the same year included coordination with a US CIA element before the events of January 25 of the same year. The two defendants reviewed the details of a meeting by Abdel Aty with the CIA element and the possibility of more coordination with that intelligence body and other similar bodies in other countries along with the ability of the MB to steer the events on the Egyptian street.
The court added that tapped telephone contacts between Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Abdel Aty showed that the intelligence officer held an urgent meeting in the second week of February, 2011 with MB members who earlier met him in Turkey where he told Abdel Aty that coordination will be maintained regarding the Egyptian revolution among three intelligence bodies that will undertake a joint action. The phone contacts also showed that Morsi expressed apprehension over dealings between that intelligence service and other groups in Egypt. Abdel Aty told him that there was no reason for this apprehension given the weight and influence of the MB group in Egypt. The two have agreed on the necessity of coordination with leader of the MB international organization Ayman Ali.
The telephone contacts showed that defendant Ahmed Abdel Aty mentioned in one of these contacts with Mohamed Morsi that three countries are now controlling the political scene and the escalation of the internal situation in Egypt and that Turkey, through its contacts, is the most capable of enhancing the status of the group with the West and that Qatar wishes to undertake the same role through Aljazeera channel, said the court. The court made reference to the testimony of Lt. Colonel Mohamed Mabrouk who indicated that after the events of January 25, 2011, when criminals of the MB group stormed the building of the State Security Investigation department in Nasr City, the recorded tapes were lost.
The court further indicated that Lt. Colonel Mohamed Mabrouk has inserted in his investigation an audio-visual recording of a meeting in the MB guidance office where its guide Mohamed Badei and Mohamed Morsi spoke about contacts and cooperation between the group and the US administration and meetings that were held within this framework. They also spoke about cooperation with Hamas movement that played an important role in storming Egyptian prisons in implementation of the aforementioned plot which is seeking to undermine the Egyptian State so that the MB would seize power in Egypt by force. The court indicated that the plot had been completed with storming the prisons during January 25 events and the jailbreak of prisoners along with targeting 160 police stations almost at the same time to make the police agency lose the ability to deal with attempts to create chaos and to enable to the MB to seize power in an effort to implement the goals of the MB international organization for obliterating the Arab identity and dividing Egypt to Islamic and Liberal parts after the failure of attempts to divide it on a sectarian basis for achieving the US and Israeli interests.
According to the court, the MB international organization entrusted head of the political office of Hamas movement Khaled Mashaal and the official in charge of the Brotherhood wing in Palestine, to meet with Ali Akbar Velayati, the adviser to the Supreme Guide of the Iranian Republic in November 2010 in the Syrian capital Damascus. They reached an agreement at the meeting on capitalizing on the situation in Egypt and the state of anger against the incumbent regime at the time. They also reached an agreement on dispatching the elements that were trained in the Gaza Strip via the illegal tunnels at the eastern borders of Egypt to perpetrate hostile operations inside Egypt and storm prisons to let free prisoners. This, according to their agreement, will go side by side with instigating the public by the MB group through social media networks and opening channels of contact with the incumbent regime to insinuate that the group is not taking part in that plot.
Elements from Hamas movement and others associated with the movement and operatives from Hezbollah have infiltrated into North Sinai on January 28, 2011 to implement the plot, according to the court. They targeted police installations in Rafah city and moved later in three groups to the governorates of Cairo, Qalyoubiya and Beheira where they stormed the prisons of Wady el-Natroun, el-Marg and Abu Zabaal to set free prisoners in a bid to create chaos and undermine the Egyptian State.
The court said that investigations by the National Security Authority and the Intelligence Service uncovered that the MB international organization has been, since 2006, planning and giving directives to MB leaders inside Egypt to carry out terrorist operations and other acts of violence with a view to seize power. This stance escalated since the start of the year 2010 when Mohamed Badei took over the post of general guide of the group and the hard-line way of thinking that is attributed to late MB leader Sayyed Qotb controlled the group.
Investigations revealed that the MB international organization, in agreement with the group inside Egypt, has outlined the details of this hostile action to achieve the goals of the plot. These details included coordination between the group and other foreign organizations outside Egypt such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which is associated with the Iranian revolutionary guard and other organizations inside and outside the country which have the same Jihadist and Takfiri ideology. These details included also opening channels between MB leaders and the West such as officials in the US and Europe at the formal and informal levels through influential mediators in Turkey and Qatar and having an agreement with them to implement the plots of the group to seize power in Egypt. This framework also includes media grooming up of young members of the group to implement a psychological war and steering the public opinion for serving the goals and plots of the group. It also included securing telecommunication channels via satellites through using Thuraya mobile phones with international chips on Palestinian and Lebanese mobile networks along with e-mail addresses and social interaction websites through which information and instructions are conveyed in implementation of the hostile plot.
The court said that Intelligence Service investigations revealed that the leadership of the MB international organization entrusted defendants Ahmed Abdel Aty, Hussein el-Qazaz, Emad Eddin Shahin and Ibrahim Farouk el-Zyyat, who are representatives and members of the international organization of the group, to follow up and implement this hostile plot and to contact the MB group inside Egypt through its leaders Mohamed Badei, Khairat el Shater, Mohamed Morsi, Mohamed Saad el-Katatny, Essam el-Eryan, Mahmoud Ezzat, Mohamed el-Beltagui, Saad el-Husseiny and Safwat Hegazy.
The court indicated that investigations by the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Service monitored holding several secret meetings between MB leaders inside Egypt and members of the group's international organization abroad on the sidelines of conferences in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. These secret meetings were held under the cloak of supporting the Palestinian cause but actually they were meant to discuss the issues of funding, recruiting and polarization.
The court indicated that Morsi was proven responsible for holding several meetings between MB leaders inside Egypt and leaders of the group's international organization abroad. He was also found guilty of arranging meetings with cadres of foreign and armed organizations abroad where he contacted Khaled Meshal in 2009 and they exchanged views over joint action by MB and Hamas. He also issued directives to defendant Hazem Farouk to travel to Lebanon and meet a leader of Hamas movement named Abu Hashem on the sidelines of Beirut International Forum. The meeting was meant to coordinate efforts about the role of the movement in supporting MB in Egypt for toppling the former regime.
The court indicated that investigations uncovered that defendants Saad el-Katani, Mohamed el-Beltagui, Hazem Farouk and Salah Abdel Maqsoud held secret meetings with elements of Hamas movement including two persons named Etab Amer and Ahmed Helya. The meetings were held on the sidelines of a forum on supporting Arab resistance in Beirut. The meetings were meant to coordinate joint action for undermining the Egyptian State through using violence and spreading chaos and extending military and logistical assistance to the MB to implement its plot provided that when the MB seizes power in Egypt they will extend logistical support to the movement in the Gaza Strip.
The court added that contacts were monitored on February 7, 2011 including ciphered messages with Ayman Taha, a Hamas leader. It was revealed that defendant Hazem Farouk has briefed him about the outcome of a meeting between his group and vice president at the time Omar Suleiman. Another meeting was monitored between defendant Khairat el-Shater and head of Hamas political office Khaled Mashaal on May 28, 2012 in a Nasr City hotel where Shater provided Mashaal with information about the internal situation in Egypt including the first round of the presidential elections and the stance of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces along with his meetings with Council members together with his threats to the Council regarding the democratic process in line with the desire of the MB. He also divulged information about the committee that was entrusted to outline the new constitution and the Higher Elections Commission.
The court also clarified that investigations by the Intelligence Service uncovered that defendants Essam el Haddad, Mohey Hamed, Ahmed Abdel Aty, Refaa el-Tahtawy and Assad el-Sheikha have disclosed to Iran, especially to the Iranian revolutionary guard, Hamas movement and Hezbollah group during their work in the presidency reports and security information related to issues that would harm the Egyptian national security. Morsi was aware of that, added the court. The move came in the form of reward for the support they extended to MB since the events of January 25, 2011 until the group seized power in Egypt. According to these information and reports, the Iranian side and Hezbollah have briefed Ahmed Rasem al-Nafees, Mahmoud Gaber Suleiman and Khaled Abdel Moty Sayyed, who are embracing the Shiite doctrine and are seeking to spread it in Egypt, to be aware and vigilant while undertaking their activity which is seeking to spread the Shiite doctrine and to minimize their declared activity as the Egyptian Intelligence Service was monitoring them and referred security reports in this regard to the presidency of the republic.
Investigations of the Intelligence Service revealed that the same defendants who were working in the presidency at that time disclosed five classified reports, that were designed to be referred to the president of the republic, during the period from March 13 to June 30, 2013, to leaders of the MB international organization who are associated with Hamas movement, Hezbollah and Iran. They disclosed the reports via an email that belongs to the presidency to defendants Ammar Ahmed Fayed, Ahmed Abdel Aty and Hussein el-Qazaz along with others.
The court made reference to investigations revealing that MB leaders have contacted foreign parties and disclosed information to them and also proposed allowing the MB to seize power in Egypt in return for offering some concessions for the West including supporting the great Middle East plan and dividing the Middle East into smaller countries to achieve the interests of the West and Israel. Defendant Khairat el-Shater and Essam el-Hadded were monitored giving instructions to defendant Sondos Assem Shalaby to contact somebody called Julian Winberg, a director of a program in Forward Thinking Center, which is specialized in serving the goals of European intelligence services in cooperation with the US and other countries with a view to holding meetings between MB leaders and MPs and partisan figures from Western countries (Britain, Germany and France). Shater was also monitored opening channels of contact with foreign countries such as South Africa, Britain, China and the US seeking to influence decision makers in these countries to serve the MB plots to seize power in Egypt.
Investigations also revealed that funding of the MB was coming from funds sent by the group's international organization that were collected in fundraising campaigns on the sidelines of conferences and forums that were held abroad under the pretext of supporting the Palestinian issue. Also, other source of funding was donations from foreign countries through covers for the international organization such as the Islamic Relief Organization in Germany and the Tourist Development Association for Expatriates. Meanwhile, Shater was supervising MB economic establishments and using them for financing the group's activities and moves to implement its plots.
Investigations also revealed that the MB plot included smuggling weapons and military training where several meetings on this score were held between MB leaders and their counterparts of Jihadist and Takfiri groups inside and outside Egypt such as Hamas-affiliated Islamic Army and Tawheed and Jihad movement and other organizations with a view to unifying their efforts and political and preaching frameworks during the Arab revolutions, according to the court.
The court indicated that a meeting was monitored in November 2010 in Syria grouping Hamas leaders, Iranian revolutionary guards and members of the MB and its international organization. They agreed at the meeting on training armed elements by trainers of the Iranian revolutionary guard to be dispatched from the Gaza Strip to Egypt to spread chaos. Defendants Mohamed Badei and Saad el-Katatny held a meeting in May 2011 in Lebanon with MB and Jamaa Islamiya leaders. They agreed that the Jamaa Islamiya in Libya will extend all military support to the MB in Egypt through smuggling arms and other illegal activities for implementing their plot and empowering them to seize power in Egypt.
Investigations revealed that in February 2012, defendant Mohamed Badei supervised smuggling of arms via the Libyan territories. These weapons were used for arming MB young members in Egypt while defendants Ammar Ahmed el-Banna and Ahmed Mohamed el-Hakim, under instructions from Khairat el-Shater, infiltrated into the Gaza Strip via the secret tunnels where they received military training in Hamas sites, said the court.
In January 2011, an infiltration by foreign elements of Hamas and Hezbollah group was monitored via the illegal tunnels at the eastern borders of Egypt, said the court, adding that these elements took part together with Jihadist and Takfiri operatives in Sinai in armed attacks against security forces in several parts in North Sinai and against forces deployed to guard Egyptian prisons. This led to storming prisons and the escape of prisoners who are loyal to these organizations while several other prisoners, citizens and security men were killed. In early June 2012, Hamas movement dispatched trained members of the Islamic Army, Jaljalat, and Tawheed and Jihad groups along with Emad Moghniya group and Hezbollah who infiltrated into the Egyptian territories via the illegal tunnels. These elements examined and specified several important security sites and establishments in North Sinai and then returned to the Gaza Strip via the tunnels. They were supported by arms and other necessary equipment (RPGs, automatic machine guns, SUV vehicles, IDs with code names) in anticipation of the outcome of the presidential elections in Egypt to carry out terrorist operations and target these establishments and sites in coordination with MB leaders until controlling Sinai and announcing North Sinai as an Islamic emirate in case defendant Mohamed Morsi would not be elected president of the country, according to the court.
The court said investigation revealed that on July 25, 2013 elements of al-Mujahideen Battalion; a secessionist wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, infiltrated into Sinai under Hamas instructions, to carry out terrorist plots in Sinai against the Armed Forces and police. On the second of their arrival, they carried out several explosions in several parts of Sinai against the Armed Forces and police in checkpoints in the areas of al-kawthar, Bawabet el-Sheikh Zweid, the real estate taxation department and Abu Taweela. Also, Hamas and Hezbollah elements in the Gaza Strip at the Egyptian borders formed groups for bugging the wireless contacts of the Egyptian Armed Forces and police in Sinai to supply the Takfiri elements with information required to carry out their terrorist operations. Another meeting via the internet in the Gaza Strip was monitored on July 17, 2013 grouping Hamas leaders and members of the MB international organization who are living in Arab countries. The meeting discussed means of getting out of the crisis after the MB group was removed from power. The meeting also took up forming a team of the group leaders to contact the new Egyptian government and placing pressure on the Egyptian Armed Forces to stop operations of destroying tunnels of Hamas and threatening to escalate the situation on the eastern borders of Egypt by Hamas and proposing that Hamas would control extremist elements in North Sinai and stop their activity in case Mohamed Morsi would reinstated as president of Egypt.
All the aforementioned events have been proven accurate and well-founded through the testimonies of eyewitnesses including former interior minister Mahmud Wagdy and Mohamed Abdel Baset Abdullah and Mohamed Abdel Hameed Nagm al-Sabbagh; two officers with the National Security Secotor along with retired officer Mohamed Zahi Okasha and Ayoub Mohamed Othman Mohamed, a driver, Ahmed Farouk Fahmy Khater, an officer with New Cairo police station, Mohamed Ahmed al-Beheiry, a non-commissioned officer and Mohamed Ahmed Afify, an officer with the National Security Sector, said the court.
Also, these events were verified by confessions of defendant Mohamed Saad el-Katatny during public prosecution investigation and through exchanged SMSs on the mobile phone of defendant Khalil Usama el-Akeed. These events have also been verified by the testimony of late vice president Omar Suleiman at the public prosecution and at court in the first trial of former president Hosni Mubarak, added the court.
The court refuted the defense argument for Mohamed Morsi and other defendants regarding the court's non-jurisdiction to look into the case on the basis that the status of a president that was granted to Morsi in accordance with legitimate elections is still holding and that the trial is violating the constitution and the judicial authority law. The court asserted that all these defense arguments are null and void.
The court explained that there was evidence that defendant Mohamed Morsi has lost his status as president of the republic in light of the revolution by the great Egyptian people who were supported by their Armed Forces. It was the revolution that toppled the president of the State from his post in line with an unprecedented overwhelming popular will and according to the ensuing future road map for building the society that included entrusting the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court to run the affairs of the country during a transitional period until electing a new president.
The court also explained that Morsi was referred to court on December 18, 2013 after he lost the status of a president of the republic. The court further indicated that the trial sessions were held on public and they are no longer secret and were covered by the media. Therefore, all legal procedures are sound and go in line with the law.