CAIRO: The North Cairo Appeals Court on Sunday exonerated a television station owner who was fined after his station aired footage of protesters stamping on pictures of President Hosni Mubarak.
The state news agency MENA reported that the court decided to overturn the conviction because of a lack of evidence.
Nader Gohar, the owner of the Cairo News Company was accused and initially convicted of illegally owning broadcast equipment.
He was fined LE 150,000 ($27,000) last October for not having a license to provide satellite feed facilities to foreign channels.
It s a joyous day, he said after the court has closed the case.
CNC provides filming equipment and personnel to news agencies then transmits their footage.
On April 7, 2008, protesters in Mahalla El-Kobra rioted over low wages and high food prices and clashed with police. Footage of them tearing down posters showing President Hosni Mubarak was transmitted on international news channels, including pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
The case against CNC was widely perceived as official anger over the company s role in transmitting the footage.
Gohar told AFP he was relieved by the decision and that his company would resume its broadcasts once equipment that had been confiscated was returned.
I was afraid a bit because the judge could have jailed me. But I always trusted the Egyptian judiciary would turn out to be good, he said.
The case was originally brought following a complaint by the government-owned Egyptian Radio and Television Union, which owns all broadcast signals in Egypt.
Footage of the Mubarak posters being torn down – a crime against the president under Egyptian law – and the subsequent violence could be seen on many television stations and on the internet. -Agencies