Cairo: An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced to death six people, including two Al Jazeera journalists, who were accused of leaking state secrets to Qatar.
The case of jailed former president Mohamed Morsi, who is also charged for espionage for Qatar, was however, adjourned.
The judgement 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, Al Jazeera reported.
Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences. His opinion is not binding but is usually respected by courts.
The defendants have the right to appeal the verdict. Morsi has already been sentenced to life and 20 years in prison in three separate trials.
According to the prosecution, Morsi and the other 10 co-defendants had leaked “classified documents” to Qatar.
The documents allegedly contained secrets on “national security”, and were allegedly traded with the Qatari intelligence for a million dollars.
Al Jazeera rejects Egypt’s allegations that the network was collaborating with Morsi’s elected government.
“I believe that this is a weak point in the Egyptian system, which might bring catastrophes to the whole country , especially when it comes to freedoms and human rights,” Al Jazeera’s Middle East Analyst Yahia Ghanem said on the judgement.