Egypt: Publisher of controversial Israeli novel sentenced to five years in prison

A court in Egypt upheld a five-year prison sentence against the head of an Egyptian publishing company for distributing an Arabic version of “The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel”, a book the military rejected arguing that it disseminates military secrets.

Khaled Lotfi, on trial in a military court since last year, was handed the sentence in appeal, his brother Mahmoud Lotfi told AFP.

“There is no other recourse but a presidential pardon,” Mahmoud said.

Khaled is accused of divulgating military secrets after the distribution of the Arabic version of the book written by Israeli writer Uri Bar-Joseph.

The novel depicts Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, as a spy for Israel.

A movie version of the book titled “The Angel”, produced in 2018, also attracted a barrage of critics from the Egyptian media which branded it “manipulation of history”, the French news agency notes.

Marwan also served under President Anwar Sadat as an adviser after the death of President Nasser. He died in London in 2007 and was buried at home where he was considered as hero.

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