Last Update 20:36
Monday, 19 November 2018

Cairo court acquits defendant in 'Marriott cell' case

Ahmed Abdullah was acquitted of a raft of charges, including obstructing governmental institutions, attacking civil liberties and damaging national unity and social peace

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Jan 2016
Marriott Cell
Al Jazeera journalists (L-R) Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste and Mohammed Fahmy stand behind bars in a court in Cairo June 1, 2014 (File Photo: Reuters)
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Cairo Criminal Court acquitted Wednesday one defendant on retrial in what is referred to in the Egyptian media as the "Marriott Cell" case.

In June 2014, defendant Ahmed Abdullah and others were sentenced to 10 years in absentia before Abdullah turned himself in to authorities for the retrial.

Under Egyptian law, a retrial must be granted to defendants convicted in absentia once they are taken into custody.

Abdullah and the other defendants were accused of obstructing governmental institutions, attacking civil liberties and damaging national unity and social peace, as well as joining the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

This is the same case that witnessed a pardon by Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of two Al-Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, in September after they convicted of “deliberately choosing to publish false news to support the Muslim Brotherhood.” The two men were handed three-year jail sentences, in addition to an extra six months for Baher.

Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was among those convicted and sentenced in absentia, was deported to Australia in February 2015 under a 2014 presidential decree that allows foreign nationals to continue their pretrial detention or post-trial prison sentences in their home countries.

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