BBC’s Johnston defends Al Jazeera’s staff

Alan Johnston, a former colleague of Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste, says he was “shocked” to learn of his arrest in Egypt.

A former colleague of Peter Greste, BBC journalist Alan Johnston, has said the suggestion that Peter and his colleagues were somehow colluding with a “terrorist” organisation is ridiculous and absurd.

Speaking from Rome to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Johnston rejected the accusations levelled against Al Jazeera’s crew, and said he worked with Greste 20 years ago and was sure of his professionality and objectivity.

“I was shocked to hear that he has been arrested, and I can hardly believe that I am standing here 100 days on and we’re still needing to see an end to this thing,” Johnston said.

The fifth court session in the trial of Al Jazeera’s journalists – Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – was adjourned on Wednesday to April 22. 

Al Jazeera’s three journalists are accused by Egypt’s authorities of having ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a “terrorist” group following the overthrow of its member, Mohamed Morsi, from presidency by the army in July.

Source: Al Jazeera