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Head of Coptic Church in Israel Sentenced to 12 Years As Spy

Rev. Joachim el Anthony, head of the Coptic Church in Israel, was sentenced today to 12 years imprisonment following his conviction in Jerusalem District Court on espionage charges. He was found guilty of having collected military information dealing with Israel’s air force and army and of having made preparations to transmit this information to the enemy.

The prelate, who is 47, had enjoyed free access to Israel from Jordan and Egypt, de denied espionage, asserting that he had gathered the information in order to write. a book. In passing sentence, the court denounced the prisoner for having exploited an exalted office and having desecrated the cloth. Presiding Judge Schlomo Kassan refused the prisoner’s request to order special treatment for him in prison, saying that his treatment would be a matter for the prison authorities.