Ilan Grapel Tahrir
Ilan Grapel in Tahrir Square in a picture taken from his Facebook account.
Text size

Ilan Grapel, the Jewish American citizen detained in Egypt under suspicion of espionage for Israel, was brought before Egypt's public prosecutor under heavy security on Wednesday.  

Grapel, who continued to deny claims that he has ties to Mossad, will be investigated along with six other people who have alleged links to him, according to a Channel 10 report. 

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Channel 10 news on Wednesday evening that the allegations against Grapel were "unfounded."

"In my opinion Egypt knows this," he said.

Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sab'a said that Israeli and U.S. diplomats were present at the proceedings, along with Hebrew and English translators, Channel 10 said.

Under questioning in Cairo, Grapel said that private emails he had sent to family and friends only told them that he was safe and sound. He added that any information he is accused of passing on through emails was already widely available on the internet and on Egyptian and Arab news networks, Channel 10 reported.

The Egyptian daily al-Ahram maintained its claims that Grapel is linked to the Mossad on Wednesday, saying that "he held a central role in the Mossad and received advanced training in the organization," Channel 10 said.

The paper also claimed that Grapel entered Egypt in order to collect intelligence on the state, and that he entered the country on various occasions with a number of passports under different nationalities.

The Egyptian authorities announced on Sunday that they had arrested a suspected spy for Israel. Egyptian media published Grapel's name and identity on Monday. Grapel met with diplomats from the United States embassy on Monday, and with diplomats with the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Tuesday.

Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday that Grapel planned to get from Egypt to a rebel hub in Eastern Libya. The Egyptian paper reported that the Egyptian prosecution is claiming that Grapel met with a group of people, some of whom were European, in southern Egypt before traveling to Cairo on the day of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

A former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces with dual American-Israeli citizenship, Grapel reportedly travelled to several parts of Egypt, and was given the task of gauging the public's reaction to the policies of the Egyptian high military council.

Grapel's parents and friends have slammed reports, calling them "bogus" and denying that he had any connection to Israel's Mossad.