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Morsi's chief of staff gets 3 years in prison for abusing power

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Morsi's chief of staff gets 3 years in prison for abusing power

Cairo criminal court sentenced on Wednesday former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's chief of staff Rifaa El-Tahtawy to three years in prison on charges of forgery.

El-Tahtawy was also fined with the amount of LE 36,000 along with another defendant in the same case who was sentenced to one year in jail and fined with the same amount.

According Al-Tahtawy's lawyer, the prosecution claimed that he abused his powers when in office.  The prosecution accused him of appointing the second defendant, El-Sayed Rifai, to occupy the position of expert in public relations for the office of the presidency, who had previously served in jail for terrorism related charges.

El-Tahtawy is currently being tried on separate charges of espionage alongside ousted president Morsi and 34 other defendants.

They stand accused of collaborating with foreign organisations to commit acts of terrorism in Egypt, revealing defence secrets to a foreign country, funding terrorists and organising military training "to serve the purposes of the international organisation of the Brotherhood."

El-Tahtawy is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, from which Morsi hails. He is a former diplomat who served in Iran and was also formerly an official spokesman for Al-Azhar.

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