Press syndicate head faces trial over harboring fugitives, spreading false news
From Left , Head of Journalists Syndicate Yehia Qallash , Khaled el-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahman

CAIRO: The Public prosecution has referred the head of the Journalists Syndicate Yehia Qallash and two board members to rapid trial over “harboring” journalists wanted by the police and spreading false news, Youm7 reported Monday.

The prosecution has set Saturday for the first court session in the trial of Qallash and other two board members of the Journalists syndicate before they were released from Kasr el-Nile police station on bail.

The three were interrogated on Sunday by the prosecution over the said charges, and were ordered released after paying a bail of 10,000 EGP ($1,126) each.

The trio firstly rejected to pay the bail until an investigator is assigned to look into the incident of police storming of the syndicate’s headquarters that occurred on May 1. Lawyer Khaled Negeida later announced that he paid the bail after coordinating with a group of journalists whom he refused to identify.

In the raid on the syndicate’s HQs, the police arrested journalists Mahmoud al-Saqqa and Amr Badr, who are now facing charges of attempting to overthrow the regime, among other accusations.

Syndicate leader Qallash, Khaled el-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahman are accused of hiding El-Saqqa and Badr in the headquarters for a few days when they were holding a sit-in to protest police raids on their houses.

They are also accused of publishing false news on the “storming” of the HQs, which authorities are denying, saying the arrest was per a prosecution order as the two journalists were wanted.

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