AJ retrial adjourned to April 22
Mohamed Fahmy (L) and Baher Mohamed (R) - YOUM7

CAIRO: The retrial of Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed was adjourned to April 22.

The judge also ordered the prosecution to submit Fahmy’s Canadian passport to the court if it is in its possession; both journalists have been denied access to their national identification documents.

The duo are facing a retrial over charges of spreading false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. Their retrial was ordered in January by Egypt’s high court that quashed an initial verdict handed down in June 2014, sentencing them to between seven to 10 years in prison, for “lack of evidence.”

A new technical committee was sworn in Wednesday to assume the reviewing of the footage of the Al-Jazeera journalists, after the three members of the old committee failed to answer questions about their report during the last hearing, and claimed that they did not remember any of the content of the footage.

The new committee is also assigned to determine whether the footage include editing that would affect its message.

During the last hearing on March 19, the court listened to four prosecution witnesses, including three members of the technical committee that viewed the seized filming material and equipment and two national security officers.

The cross examination concluded with one common response by the witnesses, which is “I do not remember,” and “I refer to the report.”

Assigned by the court, the three technical engineers wrote a report that said the three journalists, including deported Australian Peter Greste, filmed materials that “endangered Egypt’s national security.”

However, the three failed to respond as to whether the video contents included “violent scenes,’ or “anti-police and army content.”

When asked whether the videos were broadcast on satellite channels, one of them answered “I cannot exactly determine.” Neither the head of the committee did succeed to respond to most of the questions and said that he was not there when the committee saw the seized equipment.

One of the two national security officers, Ahmed Hussein, was the lead investigative officer in the case, and he also failed to answer whether Fahmy was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the banned-Islamist group the three journalists are accused of aiding.

In his answers, Hussein referred to the original investigation’s document and said that he had used secret sources, which he refused to reveal.

The second national security officer was Ahmed Ezzeldin, who executed the arrest decision, said that Hussein’s investigations were the basis for the arrest.

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