Egypt adjourns Al Jazeera journalists’ trial for a week

Trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Pete Greste adjourned until June 11 for more closing statements from defence.

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed
The retrial began in March and has dragged on for more than three months with delays and adjournments [FILE - Reuters]

The retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists has been adjourned for one week until June 11, the sixth time the much-delayed trial has been pushed back.

Prosecutors accuse Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste of “spreading false news” and having ties to former president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group, charges which the journalists and Al Jazeera vigorously reject.

Fahmy and Mohamed were present in court in Cairo on Thursday when the judge adjourned the retrial for more closing statements by the defence team.

Australian journalist Greste, who was released and deported on February 1, has not returned for the retrial.

Interview: Peter Greste on the AJ retrial

Fahmy, Mohamed and Greste were arrested in December 2013 after a raid on the hotel room where they were staying and held for more than 400 days, during which they were convicted of the same charges.

The men were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison last year. Several other Al Jazeera journalists were also sentenced in absentia in the same case.

However, Egypt’s highest court has since ordered a retrial after it found procedural flaws in the initial case.

Fahmy, who is a Canadian citizen, and Mohamed, an Egyptian, were released on bail on February 13.

The retrial originally began in March and has dragged on for more than three months with delays and adjournments.

The proceedings have attracted international condemnation, with world leaders – including US President Barack Obama – calling on the Egyptian government to release the journalists.

A social media campaign attracted tens of thousands of posts in support of the men with the hashtag #FreeAJStaff trending internationally.

Source: Al Jazeera