Qatar is to prosecute three officials at its beIN Sports network over charges of spying for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Al-Watan Voice reported yesterday.
This came following a TV show presented by Al Jazeera which disclosed connections between the three officials and Saudi and Egyptian intelligence agencies.
The Qatari Public Prosecutor said that one of the suspects had travelled to Saudi Arabia after the kingdom and its allies – Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain – imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Doha. He entered, the prosecutor said, without a visa and without having his passport stamped.
The suspect met with the Saudi intelligence officer Maher Mutreb and passed "secret and sensitive" information to him.
The Public Prosecutor also said that the official passed documents including "important" information about beIN Sports, its future plans and staff to Egyptian intelligence, in addition to information about workers at Al Jazeera Network.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abu-Hashima, who once owned a number of Egyptian media channels, covered the cost of the travel expenses.
beIN has been banned from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia since the start of the siege in 2017.
Since then, sporting events for which beIN holds exclusive rights in the Middle East have been widely broadcast and streamed online in the kingdom by a pirate channel, beoutQ.
Executives and sporting officials at beIN Sports have accused beoutQ of having links to Riyadh-based satellite provider ArabSat.