An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced six people, including two Al-Jazeera employees, to death for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the AP reports. The two Al-Jazeera employees—identified by the judge as news producer Alaa Omar Mohammed and news editor Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal—were sentenced to death in absentia along with Asmaa al-Khateib, who worked for Rasd, a media network widely suspected of links to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. There was no immediate comment from Al-Jazeera on Saturday's verdicts.
The three other defendants sentenced to death Saturday are documentary producer Ahmed Afify, EgyptAir cabin crew member Mohammed Keilany, and academic Ahmed Ismail. All six were found guilty of passing details of the army's deployment and other reports to foreign nations. "They are more dangerous than spies, because spies are usually foreigners, but these are, regrettably, Egyptians who betrayed the trust," the judge said. "No ideology can ever justify the betrayal of one's country." All of Saturday's verdicts can be appealed.