The Cairo Criminal Court listened Monday to the prosecution’s closing arguments in the Al Jazeera journalists’ re-trial case, according to defendant in the case, former Cairo bureau chief of the network, Mohamed Fahmy.
The case was postponed to 4 June to hear the defence arguments. “The judge needs to see it crystal clear that wrongdoing in [this case] is the responsibility of the Al Jazeera network that kept us in dark about its illegal actions,” Fahmy posted to his Twitter account shortly before the trial.
The prosecution’s argument focused on a claim that Fahmy worked in journalism without the knowledge of the Egyptian authorities. A lawyer from the Press Syndicate was present in the court to support former CNN correspondent Fahmy.
Fahmy has been leading a fierce campaign to sue the network, using the slogan of “journalism is not political activism”, in attempts to separate his job as a journalist from his involvement with the channel.
Fahmy and co-worker Peter Greste were initially sentenced to seven years in prison, while producer Baher Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years. After Fahmy and Mohamed were released on bail, and Greste was deported, they await a verdict in their ongoing retrial at the Cairo Criminal Court.
Fahmy, who had a dual nationality, had to renounce his Egyptian nationality to be released. However, he will not be able to leave Egypt to Canada before the retrial is finished.