Al-Jazeera trial adjourned to June 1
Al Jazeera journalists and correspondents during their work - AFP

CAIRO: Cairo Criminal Court adjourned Thursday the trial of 20 defendants including four detained Al-Jazeera English reporters to June 1 in the case of the Marriott trial to hear witness testimonies and the technical committee responsible for reviewing seizures.

The prosecution charged the journalists with inciting violence against the Egyptian state and committing terrorist acts in addition to accusations that include falsifying news on the Qatari-based network Al-Jazeera.

The 20 defendants include four non-Egyptians, Australian citizen Peter Greste, British citizens Dominic Laurence and Susane Melanie, and Dutch citizen Rena Netjes, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

During Thursday’s hearing, which witnessed an intensified media presence, the court was screening the videos that belong to the defendants and were seized among the exhibits.

One of the defendants’ lawyer said during the hearing that he stressed on his previous demands to watch the seized videos again and include the forensic authority’s reports of the 12th, 13th, and 14th defendants.

The lawyer also demanded that the testimonies hearings of the prosecution witnesses to be delayed after watching the videos.

 During the screening of the videos, the fifth defendant Mohamed Fahmy said the videos are new to them and that they are watching them for the first time.

 “I work as a journalist and have nothing to do with what was screened about the Al-Jazeera,” Fahmy said during the hearing, according to Youm7. The judge, in response, told Fahmy, “When we finish screening, you can comment as you like.”

Fahmy’s lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr said the exhibits are on CDs that can be added to or deleted from and it will not be confirmed if there were any changes to the original version.

The first CD showed some pictures of public figures such as Head of Wafd Party El-Sayed El-Badawy, presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, and a number of party heads. There were also images of Rabaa al-Adawiya Square dispersal, the 7 a.m. group in Alexandria, and others.

On the second CD, it appeared that someone was talking, saying jokes, and repeating the song of Pola Pola, which caused the hearing attendees to chuckle, according to Youm7.

Additional reporting by Amer Mostafa.

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