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Egypt sentences 6 to death for espionage

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Six people including two journalists have been sentenced to death in Egypt for allegedly leaking state secret to Quatar.

The defendants include Ibrahim Mohamed Hilal, director of news at Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel and Jordanian citizen Alaa Omar Mohamed Sablan, identified by the prosecution as an Al Jazeera journalist.

Both journalists alongside another, Asmaa Mohamed al-Khatib, identified as a reporter with the pro-Brotherhood Rassd news outlet, who was also sentenced to death were all tried in absentia.

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Reports say the judgment will either be approved or reduced in June after consultations with Egypt’s mufti, the highest Sunni religious leader in the country. The court may or may not consider the mufti’s feedback.

Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences. His opinion is not binding but is usually respected by courts.

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