Egypt court to deliver Al Jazeera verdict

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on charges of reporting false news and aiding a banned group.

    An Egyptian court is expected to deliver its verdict in the trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists held since December accused of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news.

    The judge will on Monday rule on the case of Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and six other Al Jazeera journalists being tried in absentia.

    The journalists were arrested in December in Cairo as they covered the aftermath of the removal by the army of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July.

    They have faced the court more than a dozen times since that point. The prosecution says Greste, Al Jazeera's east Africa correspondent, and his Egypt bureau colleagues aided the Brotherhood and produced false news reports of the situation in Egypt.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, which supported Morsi, was listed as a "terrorist" organisation by the interim Egyptian government shortly before the accused were arrested.

    The prosecution produced a number of items as evidence including a BBC podcast, a news report made while none of the accused were in Egypt, a pop video by the Australian singer, Gotye, and several recordings on non-Egyptian issues.

    The prosecution has called for a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail for the journalists.

    The defence says the journalists were wrongly arrested and that the prosecution has failed to prove any of the charges against them.

    Six other Al Jazeera journalists, including Dominic Kane and Sue Turton, are being tried in absentia.

    A group of 16 Egyptian co-accused, some of whom are being tried in absentia, face up to 25 years for belonging to the Brotherhood.

    Global news organisations, and prominent journalists and politicians have called for their release.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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