Report: Israeli in Egyptian Prison Could be Released Tonight (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By David Lev 05/12/12)
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Reports Saturday night said that Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli citizen who
has been jailed in Egypt for the past twelve years, could be
released “within hours.” The report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-
Ahram Saturday quoted top Egyptian military officials. According to
the report, Israel is to release 63 Egyptians being held in Israeli
prisons in exchange for Tarabin.
Tarabin, a member of a Bedouin tribe, was arrested by Egypt in 2000,
when he was 19 years old, after crossing the border from Israel into
Sinai. Tarabin was charged on mysterious – and still unknown –
charges of “spying,” and was tried in absentia for espionage by an
Egyptian military court. While in custody of border police in Sinai,
Tarabin, his attorney Yitzchak Meltzer says, he was informed that he
had been sentenced to 15 years in prison. No evidence - except for
unsubstantiated testimony from an Egyptian cousin, who has been in
jail since 1999 on similar charges - or defense were presented, and
Tarabin was not even indicted. He was convicted under Egypt´s
emergency laws, and these is no possibility of parole.
Tarabin´s family says that Ouda was not a spy, and that he had
entered Sinai to visit his sister in El-Arish. When he was informed
of his sentence, Meltzer says, Ouda was also told that his father had
been sentenced to 25 years in prison, also on espionage charges.
Meltzer believes that the jailing of Ouda and the threat against his
father may surround a bid for revenge by either the Egyptian
government or a high official against Ouda´s father or the family,
which immigrated to Israel in 1991. It should be noted that Egypt did
not even admit that it was holding Tarabin until 2004; then Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert and other officials raised the issue with
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and intelligence chief Omar
Suleiman, and were given “indirect answers,” Meltzer says.
According to the sources, negotiations have been going on between
Israel and Egypt for several months, and that an agreement is nearly
completed, although several more details need to be worked out.
Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara said over the weekend that “this is the
first time that Tarabin´s release is dependent more on Israel´s
actions than Egypt´s.” (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/12/12)
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