Egypt Jazeera trial adjourned

2014-03-24 20:38
Al-Jazeera (File)

Al-Jazeera (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - An Egyptian court on Monday adjourned the trial of three Al-Jazeera journalists and five students until March 31 after cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.

Defence lawyers questioned a number of secret police officers about equipment seized in the Cairo hotel suites that the Al-Jazeera International team were using as their studio. A total of twenty defendants are charged with harming Egypt's national interests by spreading false news and assisting or belonging to a terrorist organization, but 12 are being tried in absentia.

Al Jazeera International's Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, Australian Peter Greste, a former BBC correspondent, and Baher Mahmoud were held when National Security raided their hotel in December. There were testy scenes Monday as lawyers for Greste and Mohammed clashed with Fahmy's defence counsel over the line of questioning. Fahmy's lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr sought to show that the prosecution case was based on his client working for

Al-Jazeera's banned Egyptian channel rather than the English-language Al-Jazeera International. But the session's first secret police witness insisted that several seized devices were being used illegally in any case as the journalists had no permit for them.

Fahmy interrupted from the defendants' cage to say that the officer had questioned him about only one item "and every satellite channel in Egypt uses it." "Please don't interrupt," presiding judge Mohammed Nagui said. Abu Bakr also rounded on an expert witness from state television, asking him how he and his three fellow experts had managed to submit four separate reports on the seized material that were "identical word for word."

As the judges retired to consider defence requests, Greste said that the journalists' treatment had improved in recent days. "We think this is due to the public pressure," he shouted from behind the bars of the defendants' cage. "We have not seen a shred of evidence in court that could possibly justify the charges against us or our imprisonment," he added.

Fahmy said he was reassured by a letter his family received Sunday from Egyptian President Adly Mansour, promising to "spare no effort to work towards the speedy resolution of the case."

"The letters from the president are very important," he said. "They're an expression from the president that we will be free." But the students arraigned on the same charges told journalists that they were getting much worse treatment. "We are in the Scorpion maximum security prison.

The water gets cut off for days at a time. The food is worse than anything. We've had no visits for two months," Khalid Mahmoud said. "I have two breaks in my arm and I've been waiting for two months for an X ray. They finally did it yesterday," he said. "We demand to be treated like animals. It would be much better than this," Shadi Ibrahim called out from the cage.

Nagui ordered prosecutors to ensure that all the defendants were able to receive visits. The case has embarrassed Egypt's military-backed government by focussing international attention on its crackdown on the media and on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

The prosecution has been condemned by press bodies worldwide.

- SAPA
Read more on:    al-jazeera  |  egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.