Cairo court delays verdict in retrial of Al Jazeera journalists


Rebecca Hawkes

| 31 July 2015

A court in Cairo has adjourned the long-awaited retrial verdict of three Al Jazeera journalists, scheduled to come at the end of July.

Egyptian Baher Mohamed, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste were found guilty in June 2014 of aiding a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned in Egypt after former president Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in 2013.

The trial and sentences ranging from seven to ten years in jail drew international condemnation from human rights groups and governments including the US and UK.

In January, an appeals court ordered a retrial, and Peter Greste was deported to his native Australia. Mohamed and Fahmy have remained in Egypt on bail.

This latest delay brings a total of nine adjournments in the retrial, and has drawn a bitter rebuke from the Qatar-based TV network which employs the journalists.

"We are outraged that the verdict has been adjourned as today was meant to be the final court hearing for our colleagues. We, along with others, expected a swift end to the ordeal for Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste," said Dr Mostefa Souag, acting director general, Al Jazeera Media Network.

"All three men have been under immense stress and pressure for the past 19 months, and delaying the final verdict has just continued the strain on them and their families.

"We demand the Egyptian authorities bring an end to the charges against Baher, Peter and Mohamed which should be dropped immediately. Journalism is not a crime."