Marriott trial of Al Jazeera journalists adjourned to June 5
Marriott trial - YOUM7/Maher Iskandar

CAIRO:  The Cairo Criminal Court Sunday adjourned to June 5 the trial of 20 defendants being tried in the “Marriott Case” over charges of inciting violence, committing terrorist acts and falsifying news on the Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera.

The 20 defendants include four non-Egyptians: Australian Peter Greste, Britons Dominic Kane and Sue Turton and Rena Netjes from the Netherlands. The latter three are being tried in absentia.

This session had an intensified media presence, Youm7 reported.

Greste’s brother attended the session and the brother and fiancée of defendant Mohamed Fahmy attended also.

The defense team began the session with debating the technical committee assigned by the court to examine the videos confiscated from the journalists during the arrest.

The defense team also said they did not receive the medical examination report on the defendants they previously asked for.

One of the defense lawyers asked the court to be allowed to hear the testimonies of prosecution witnesses and watch the journalists’ confiscated footage. The lawyer said that it was his first time attending the trial and that he was not familiar with the previous proceedings.

The defense also accused the committee of failing to prove the videos included scenes that could harm national security. They then asked the court to assign another committee from the High Cinema Institute specialized in videos to replace the current committee.

The court presented the seized videos in the previous session.

During the screening of the videos, Fahmy said he had never seen the footage.

“I work as a journalist and have nothing to do with what was screened about 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.”

The first video showed pictures of public figures like Wafd Party head El-Sayed El-Badawy, presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, and a number of party heads. There were also images of the Rabaa al-Adaweya dispersal.

The second video featured someone talking, joking, and repeating the “Vola Polambella” song, an Italian tune popular on YouTube in Egypt. The value of this evidence was not immediately clear, and the song caused the hearing attendees to chuckle, according to Youm7.


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