Egyptian court orders retrial of 3 Al Jazeera journalists

World Today

An Egyptian court has accepted the appeal request by jailed Al Jazeera journalists and has ordered a re-trial. CCTV News reporter Adel El-Mahrouky reported this story from Cairo.

Egyptian court orders retrial of 3 Al Jazeera journalists

An Egyptian court has accepted the appeal request by jailed Al Jazeera journalists and ordered a re-trial.  CCTV New’s Adel El-Mahrouky reported this story from Cairo.

The journalists, who were arrested a year ago for operating in Egypt without a permit and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, will remain in custody pending their new trial.

Accepting the appeal request was a relief to the defendants and their family members who were earlier sentenced to between 3-10 years in prison.

Yet disappointment took over when the court rejected their request to be released.

“Yes, I am disappointed and the misery continues, I hope there is a breakthrough for my brother. We can’t take it anymore, we really can’t take’s it anymore,” Adel Fahmy one of the defendant’s brother said.

The court does not have the jurisdiction to accept the release terms of the defendants. Only the prosecution at this moment or the judge to be appointed for the re-trial has the right to end their yearlong detention.

Two of the defendants are from Canada and Australia. Their families said they hope they would be tried in their home countries and not in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood has been added to Egypt’s terrorist organizations list.

“The prosecution filed an appeal and we did. We argued that the court was not formed based on the rules of law and that the court dismissed key points in our defense. It considered anyone who works in Al Jazeera is a member of the Muslim brotherhood this is not the case,” defense lawyer Negad Al Boray said.

A date for the retrial must be set within 30 days. The proceedings are expected to take much less time than the first trial.

Earlier, Egypt’s President el-Sisi showed sympathy towards the defendants, noting that if he was in power at the time, he wouldn’t have escalated their charges to the court.

Some suspect that if found guilty, they may receive a presidential pardon, however, the president’s office didn’t comment on these reports.