Al-Jazeera journalists trial adjourned to 22 May; lawyer steps down

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 May 2014

Peter Greste's defence lawyer quits the case accusing the Qatari Al-Jazeera news network of using the trial to defame Egypt

Peter Greste
File Photo: Australian journalist Peter Greste of Al-Jazeera stand inside the defendants cage during their trial (Photo: Reuters)
Cairo Criminal Court adjourned Thursday to 22 May the trial of Al-Jazeera journalists, including four foreigners, accused of joining a terrorist organisation and airing false news. The defendants will remain in detention during that time after bail was denied. 
During the eighth session of the trial, known in the media in Egypt as the "Marriott cell case," Peter Greste's lawyer, Farg Fathy, quit the case claiming that Al-Jazeera channel was using the case to "defame" Egypt and was jeopardising the defendants. 
On the other hand, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy's lawyer, Khaled Abu Bakr, revealed to court that the prosecution asked the defendants' lawyers to pay LE1.2 Million in order to view the five CDs of alleged evidence against the defendants.  
A new defendant "Khaled Abdel Rahman" joined the rest of the defendants in the cage on Thursday. The 49 years old media production company owner was arrested from short time ago. His name was already in the list of the defendants. 
Al-Jazeera International Cairo bureau staff Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, along with other Egyptians and foreigners, were arrested in December and accused of joining a terrorist organisation and airing false news. 
Australian reporter Peter Greste is the only foreign defendant in detention while two Britons, Sue Turton and Dominic Kane, and Dutch journalist Rena Netjes, who fled the country after being indicted, despite not working for the channel, are currently abroad and are being tried in absentia.
Security forces shut down Al-Jazeera’s Cairo offices following the army's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi 3 July 2013. Authorities accused the network's Egyptian channel of giving favourable coverage to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.
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