An Egyptian court has recommended the death sentence against six people, including two Al-Jazeera employees, for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

A verdict on Morsi, ousted by the military in 2013, and four other defendants in the case, will be announced June 18.

The two Al-Jazeera employees — identified by the judge on Saturday as news producer Alaa Omar Mohammed and news editor Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal — were sentenced in absentia.

Judge Mohammed Shireen Fahmy says case documents pertaining to all six would be sent to the Grand Mufti, Egypt's top religious authority, for his review.

The Mufti's opinion is not binding and the six will be sentenced alongside the other five defendants.