Al Jazeera staff appear in Egypt court

Prosecution plays video evidence in ninth court hearing for three Al Jazeera staff accused of “aiding terrorist group”.

Al Jazeera’s staff, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, have made their ninth appearance before a judge in a Cairo court, facing charges of aiding “a terrorist organisation.”

Several audio and video recordings provided by the prosecution against the Al Jazeera staff and other defendants in the trial, were displayed during proceedings, according to media attending the session.

The clips included general conversations between supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and images of protests against former army chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The court also listened to audio recordings allegedly found in Greste’s possesion, an accusation denied by the Australian journalist.

One photo presented by prosecutors, described as “clearly doctored” by court reporters, showed Fahmy standing behind former Egyptian military chief, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

A chart hit by Australian singer Gotye was also presented as evidence.

The evidence against them has also included reports from other correspondents and other news channels.

An Al Jazeera spokesman called the charges “absurd” and said the Egyptian authorities did not have a “shred of evidence” against the journalists.

Peter Greste’s brother, Andrew, who spoke briefly to the journalist at the trial in Cairo, said his brother and his colleagues were frustrated by the lack of progress in the case.

At last week’s hearing the prosecution demanded the defence pay $170,000 to view the video evidence against the three men.

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Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed are accused of “aiding members of a terrorist organisation” and spreading false news. Al Jazeera rejects the charges.

Their trial has been adjourned until June 1.

The three journalists were arrested in Cairo in December, with their trial beginning in February. They have been in custody since last year and have been denied bail.

Abdullah Elshamy, a correspondent from the Doha-based network’s Arabic channel, has also been held in Egypt since August.

Elshamy’s health is deteriorating due to a hunger strike he started nearly four months ago to protest against being imprisoned without charge.

He has been kept in solitary confinement and has complained of attempts by prison guards to forcefeed him.

Last week, a judge rejected his request to review his status and upheld a decision to extend his detention.

Source: Al Jazeera