Hearing for Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt adjourned again

peter greste

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Despite high hopes that they would be released on bail today, three Al Jazeera English journalists have been ordered to return to an Egyptian prison after a judge adjourned their trial for a fourth time.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been detained in Egypt since being taken from their Cairo hotel room in December.

They stand accused of defaming Egypt for their coverage of ongoing conflict there, and for affiliating with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has now been branded a terrorist group. The trio have denied all allegations against them.

Several other reporters in Egypt have fallen out with authorities after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last summer. The new government is now run by the military.

The defendants have previously appeared in court in locked cages, but this hearing was different in that a judge summoned them to the front of the room to speak to him directly. More than a dozen others also on trial also pleaded their cases.

The move to have the defendants speak for themselves confused some reporters covering the trial, and raised hopes among the Al Jazeera journalists’ and their colleagues.

After the defendants spoke, they were led back to their cages as the judge called a brief recess to decide whether to release the journalists on bail. Mohamed Fahmy, whose lawyer requested bail so he can treat his arm injury, was quoted as yelling to the courtroom:

However, because video evidence that was presumed to be key to the prosecutor’s arguments was not shown, the trial was adjourned.

The next hearing will be on April 10. Thoughts?

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