Egypt court set to deliver verdict on Al Jazeera staff

Cairo court expected to announce verdict in retrial of journalists Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste.

    Egypt court set to deliver verdict on Al Jazeera staff
    Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were freed on bail after spending more than 400 days in jail [AP]

    An Egyptian court is set to announce the verdict in the long-running retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists.

    Egyptian Baher Mohamed, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste were found guilty in June 2014 of aiding a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed in Egypt after the army overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

    Greste and Fahmy received seven years, while Mohamed was given 10 years.

    In January, an appeals court ordered a retrial, saying the initial verdict lacked evidence against the three journalists working for the Doha-based network's English channel.

    We demand the Egyptian authorities bring an end to the charges against Baher, Peter, and Mohamed which should be dropped immediately. Journalism is not a crime.

    Mostefa Souag, Al Jazeera

    The journalists and Al Jazeera have vigorously denied the accusations during the trial.

    Nine previous sessions in the court set to deliver Sunday's verdict have all been adjourned.

    "All three men have been under immense stress and pressure for the past 19 months and delaying the final verdict has just continued the strain on them and their families," Dr Mostefa Souag, Al Jazeera Media Network's acting director-general, said on Thursday, after the latest court session was adjourned.

    "We demand the Egyptian authorities bring an end to the charges against Baher, Peter, and Mohamed which should be dropped immediately. Journalism is not a crime."

    Greste has already been deported to his native Australia under a law allowing the transfer of foreigners on trial to their home countries but he is still being retried in absentia.

    Fahmy and Mohamed are on bail ahead of the retrial after spending more than 400 days in detention.

    Fahmy renounced his Egyptian nationality hoping he too would be deported.

    The three men have received support from governments, media organisations and rights groups from around the world.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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