Grapel Faces More Charges

As Cairo, Jerusalem, and Washington discuss a potential swap of security prisoners for Ilan Grapel prosecutors heap on more charges.

Gabe Kahn. ,

Ilan Grapel
Ilan Grapel

Egyptian state prosecutors said Tuesday American-Israeli Ilan Grapel will be charged with incitement to destroy government property as well as spying. 

The officials claimed witnesses have testified that Grapel encouraged them to set fire to police buildings.

Grapel, 27, has been in Egyptian custody since June. Egypt has accused him of attempting to recruit its citizens to work as agents for the Mossad; and inciting Egyptian youth to violence during the popular protests that saw the April 11 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

The charges against Grapel have been derided by many Egyptians, who say his trial are Cairo's interim junta's equivalent of Bread and Circuises for the masses.

The threat of new charges for Grapel comes after last Sunday's report Egypt is set to swap the dual US-Israeli citizen for Egyptian citizens held as security prisoners by Israel and the United States. It is widely believed the US has used aid sanctions and incentives during negotiations.

The new charges are likely intended to improve Cairo's negotiating power in negotiations over the Grapel swap, which Egyptian officials stress is still tentative. Earlier this week Egyptian officials told reporters it was conceivable Grapel would be "released in the coming weeks."