Trial could come early in Egypt for accused spy


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A dual U.S.-Israel citizen who is being in Egypt held on charges of being a spy for Israel could face trial in the coming weeks.

Cairo prosecutors are calling to speed up a trial date for law student Ilan Grapel, who was arrested at his hotel in central Cairo on Sunday, according to Egypt’s al-Ahram weekly.

The newspaper also reported that Grapel said that he was Muslim on his visa application filed with the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. Grapel is Jewish.

He reportedly entered Egypt using his American passport.

He is also being accused in the Egyptian media of sending information to the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, from Internet cafes. Grapel reportedly told Egyptian investigators that he sent information obtained in the public domain to his parents so they would not worry about him during the uprising that led to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Ahram also reported that Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby refused to meet with the Israeli consul in Cairo, instead sending a Foreign Ministry official to meet with the consul.

Egyptian state prosecutors will likely announce next week whether they will send Grapel for a criminal trial. 

Diplomats from the Israeli embassy met Tuesday in Cairo with Grapel. He reportedly had met the previous day in Cairo with an officer from the American consulate who allowed him to contact his family. 

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