3 May 2014

Egyptian judge wishes al-Jazeera trio a happy Press Freedom Day then refuses bail

The judge trying three al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt wished them a happy World Press Freedom Day before refusing them bail and adjourning their case until 15 May.


In a brief session on Saturday, one of the trio, al-Jazeera English's Cairo bureau chief, Mohamed Fahmy, was allowed to leave the defendants' cage to explain to the judge the nature of journalism. The judge, Mohamed Nagy, then adjourned proceedings because Fahmy's lawyer had failed to turn up due to a private emergency.

Fahmy, the Australian ex-BBC journalist Peter Greste and a local producer, Baher Mohamed, have been in jail since late December, and stand accused of creating false news, smearing Egypt's reputation, and aiding terrorists. They are charged alongside five students with connections to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, and prosecutors have tried to show that al-Jazeera is part of a pro-Brotherhood conspiracy.

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