Al Jazeera journalists trial adjourned to 16 June

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Thursday 5 Jun 2014

Thursday's session - the trial's 12th - sees the defence team once again using the word 'farcical' to describe proceedings

The trial of Al Jazeera English reporters accused of fabricating news reports and aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood has been adjourned by a Cairo criminal court to 16 June.

The beginning of Thursday's session saw a media ban for unknown reasons. However, media personnel were eventually allowed back inside the court room.

The defence team of the Al Jazeera journalists asked the judges for the court procedures to be fair and take into account the media's role in covering events like the dispersals of Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda – two pro-Mohamed Morsi protest camps in Cairo that were violently cleared out by security forces in August of last year, leading to the deaths of hundreds.

The defence team once again challenged prosecutor's evidence, arguing that their investigations have turned no incriminating evidence.

They also called the trial "farcical", as they have in past court sessions.

Among the defendants are 16 students who are facing charges of joining a terrorist organisation, including the son of prominent Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy, who is also facing charges of inciting murder and espionage in a separate trial.

Security forces arrested Al Jazeera English staff members Mohamed Fadel, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed along with other Egyptian journalists last December on charges of fabricating news and joining a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Brotherhood, which was deemed a terrorist group in the same month by interim authorities.

Security forces shut down Al Jazeera's Cairo offices following the army's overthrow of Morsi on 3 July 2013 on the back of mass protests against the Islamist president's one-year rule.

Authorities have accused the network's Egyptian channel of giving favourable coverage to Morsi's Brotherhood movement.

Short link: