Egypt court adjourns appeal of press syndicate head to 14 January

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Dec 2016

In November, a misdemeanors court sentenced Kalash and two others to two-years in prison for harbouring fugitive journalists inside the syndicate

File photo: Yehia Kalash (C), head of the Egyptian press syndicate entering the courthouse for his first trial session on Saturday 4 June 2016 (Photo: Bassam Alzogby)

A Cairo court has adjourned the first session of an appeal by Yehia Kalash, the head of Egypt's press syndicate, and two others against their two-year jail sentences for harbouring fugitives inside the syndicate's headquarters.

The court announced on Sunday that the first appeal session would now be held on 14 January.

In November, a misdemeanor court sentenced Kalash and syndicate board members Gamal Abdel-Reheem and Khaled El-Balshy to two-years in prison for harbouring two journalists wanted by police inside the syndicate in May.

Journalists Mahmoud El-Sakka and Amr Badr were among many wanted on arrest warrants ahead of the 25 April protests against the Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea island maritime-border agreement.

Badr and El-Sakka were arrested inside the Journalists Syndicate premises. They were later released on bail pending trial.

The three men accused of harbouring them were also released on bail of 10,000 EGP each and mounted appeals after the court verdict in November.

After the verdict, Syndicate Head Kalash told journalists, who had gathered in anger at Downtown Cairo's Syndicate headquarters, that he was not worried about being jailed.

“I urge you to face the real problems... such as the new press law, the social and economic rights of journalists and to focus on changing the syndicate’s bylaws,” he had told journalists at the time.

Kalash, Abdel-Reheem and El-Balshy are also facing charges of spreading false news about the police raid on the syndicate's headquarters on 1 May that resulted in the arrest of the two journalists.

A court session is yet to be set for this second charge. 

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