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Egypt says alleged spy could stand trial

CAIRO, June 16 (UPI) -- An American-Israeli accused by Egyptian authorities of spying could stand trial in Cairo within weeks, the Egyptian weekly al-Ahram said Thursday.

Earlier this week Egypt announced the arrest of Ilan Grapel, and accused him of being a Mossad agent.

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Egypt's prosecutor plans to charge Grapel with "trying to recruit locals and inflame the conflict between the Egyptian people and the armed forces," the weekly said.

Egypt's official news agency MENA Monday said Judge Hesham Badawi of the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered Grapel detained for 15 days on suspicion of "spying on Egypt with the aim of harming its economic and political interests."

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Israeli officials have dismissed claims Grapel worked for any Israeli security agency and claimed if anything he acted irresponsibly for visiting Egypt, a country still seething from tension and unrest since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The Egyptian weekly claimed Grapel wrote he was Muslim on the application form when applying for a visa at the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv. He was also spotted sending e-mails to the Mossad from several Internet cafes, the report alleged. The weekly claimed a number of Egyptian activists claiming they were approached by Grapel had contacted the authorities.

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Earlier this week a source told The Jerusalem Post Grapel had been active in Cairo's Tahrir Square and was "there on a daily basis inciting youths towards sectarian violence."

Israel's Foreign Ministry said Grapel entered Egypt on his American passport and therefore Egyptian authorities initially contacted the American Embassy in Cairo to inform them of his arrest, Haaretz said.

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