Andrei Pashnichikov, the Israeli who was arrested in Egypt in December, has been sentenced to two years in prison, Egyptian media reported on Monday.
Pashnichikov was arrested after he was caught taking photographs of security equipment, and had been in prison ever since.
According to the reports in the Egyptian media, the two-year sentence was handed down by a court in Nuweiba.
The reports indicated that Pashnichikov’s defense team is expected to appeal the decision, but that as of right now, he is expected to begin serving his sentence as of Wednesday.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry told Channel 2 News on Monday night that the it had not received any official notice from the authorities in Egypt about such a ruling.
The Israeli media had portrayed Pashnichikov as a “peace activist” who had strong contacts with Palestinian Authority Arabs in Gaza, and with Egyptians. According to Israeli sources, Pashnichikov had applied for a visa to Egypt and was granted one, but when he tried to cross into Sinai at the Taba crossing south of Eilat, he was refused entry by Egyptian border officials.
However, sources told Arutz Sheva after his arrest that Pashnichikov was identified with radical leftist and anarchist groups, and that he was headed to Gaza in order to assist Arab terrorists there to fight Israel.
Gaza media reported shortly after the arrest that an Israeli delegation was in Egypt to discuss Pashnichikov’s release.