Head of Coptic Church in Israel Found Guilty of Spying for Egypt

The Jerusalem District Court today found the Rev. Joakhim el Anthony, head of the Coptic Church in Israel, guilty of two counts of espionage in behalf of Egypt. Sentence will be pronounced tomorrow or Wednesday.

In a 30-page verdict, the court found that the prosecution had proved that Anthony gathered information on Israel military dispositions of value to the enemy. When he was arrested last October as he prepared to cross the Israel border into Jordan, Anthony was found to have notes on military positions in his wallet, as well as the cards of two top Egyptian intelligence officers.

The churchman claimed that he had gathered the material for a book on Israel he intended writing. Israeli intelligence officers, testifying for the prosecution, said that Arab agents had been seeking just the information which Anthony had in his possession. When the section of the verdict pertaining to security matters was read, the courtroom was cleared of spectators, for security reasons.

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