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Girgis Charged As Illegal Rep of Egypt in NYC Asks 2 Months Delay Due to Death Penalty Trial of Lawyer

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURT, Exclusive series, Sept 14 – In another illegal spying or representation case, alongside Eastern District of New York prosecutions of a UN-affiliated Iranian spy and an NYPD officer reporing to China's Mission to the UN about Tibetans in New York, on January 6 the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment charging PIERRE GIRGIS, a dual Egyptian and U.S. citizen, with acting and conspiring to act in the United States as an unregistered agent of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

 GIRGIS was taken into custody on January 6 and Inner City Press is following the case. Later on January 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrates Court where Inner City Press was the only media, Girgis was released on $100,000 bond by Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger, to be secured by his car within two weeks, see below.

  On February 16 Girgis and his Federal Defenders appeared before SDNY District Judge Alison J. Nathan. There was talk of discovery to be loaded onto a 2 gigabyte hard drive in three weeks.

Jump cut to June 23, 2022: after Judge Nathan's elevation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Girgis' case was reassigned to Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who held an in-person conference which Inner City Press attended, one of two people in the gallery. (The other was a Girgis relative or supporter).

  Federal Defender Andrew Dalack said he is considering challenging the FISA warrants. The Assistant US Attorney spoke of 25,000 recorded phone calls. Dallack cited the need for a (publicly-funded) interpreter, and his Saipov terrorism trial set for September with the death penalty still on the table.

  On August 15 Girgis asked for permission to travel to Ocean City, Maryland from August 22 through 28. Pre-Trial took no position.

On August 16, the Court approved it: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT re: One-Time Bail Modification for Authorization to Travel to Ocean City, MD, August 22 through August 28, 2022....ENDORSEMENT...Application GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate the motion at docket entry 26 (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 8/16/2022)."

On September 14, more delay was sought, to push the September 16 conference back 60 days because Girgis' lawyer is preparing for a death penalty trial (that Inner City Press is also covering). They ask to toll Speedy Trial Act time to allow the parties to discuss a possible pretrial disposition. Watch this site.

Previously Dallack told Judge Nathan that Girgis has been receiving death threats, and he linked it to the "tone" of the DOJ's press release. He said Girgis had hired private counsel to make a no-charge pitch and was surprised when he was arrested. He said there is no allegation Girgis took money for spying. Filings are due in March, and in 90 days. Inner City Press will remain on the case.

  But two weeks later Girgis' lawyers wrote in to say the bond was still not secured by Girgis' car and wanting, on consent, until February 4 to comply.

 Girgis' case was assigned to District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who has been nominated for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Podcast here.

On March 30, Girgis' lawyers wrote to Judge Nathan to ask on consent for delay to May 2 as the US on March 9 gave thousands of documents and forensic cell phone extractions.

From 2014 to 2019, GIRGIS, a native of Egypt, acted in the United States as an agent of the Egyptian government, without notifying the U.S. Attorney General as required by law. GIRGIS operated at the direction and control of multiple officials of the Egyptian government in an effort to further the interests of the Egyptian government in the United States. Among other things, at the direction of Egyptian government officials, GIRGIS tracked and obtained information regarding political opponents of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

 GIRGIS also leveraged his connections with local U.S. law enforcement officers to collect non-public information at the direction of Egyptian officials, arranged benefits for Egyptian officials who were visiting Manhattan, and coordinated meetings between U.S. and Egyptian law enforcement in the United States, including by attempting to arrange for Egyptian officials to attend police trainings.  

   On or about May 7, 2018, GIRGIS discussed his status as an agent of the Egyptian government with an Egyptian official (“Egyptian Official-1”) using an encrypted messaging application. During the conversation, Egyptian Official-1 expressed frustration that GIRGIS had communicated with personnel from a different Egyptian government agency, warned GIRGIS that “it is not possible to open with all the agencies,” and stated that Egyptian Official-1 was “letting you [GIRGIS] open with us only.”

 Later in the encrypted messaging exchange, Egyptian Official-1 advised GIRGIS that other Egyptian government agencies “want sources for themselves, and you [GIRGIS] have become an important source for them to collect information.” GIRGIS responded, “I know and I see and I learn from you,” and then informed Egyptian Official-1, “it will not be repeated again.”    

 Approximately one year later, on or about March 8, 2019, in the course of GIRGIS’s continuing operations as an Egyptian agent, GIRGIS and Egyptian Official-1 discussed an upcoming trip of certain Egyptian officials to the United States. During that telephone conversation, GIRGIS stated, “Tell me what you want me to do,” and Egyptian Official-1 responded by inquiring about GIRGIS’s relationship with a particular U.S. law enforcement officer. Egyptian Official-1 then instructed GIRGIS “to ask [the U.S. law enforcement officer] for something. We want you to find out if there are any police trainings happening in Manhattan in the coming days, and if so, who are the people in charge of these trainings? We would like to attend.” Later in the conversation, GIRGIS again asked, “What you want me to do?” Egyptian Official-1 directed GIRGIS, “Make follow up, Ok?” and GIRGIS agreed by responding, “Ok.”   

 GIRGIS, 39, is a resident of Manhattan. GIRGIS is charged with one count of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the Attorney General, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of acting as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the Attorney General, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The level of diplomatic sleaze is expanding, particular in New York where the United Nations is based but remains immune from the law. Inner City Press is on the case.

This case is US v. Girgis, 22-cr-6 (Failla)


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