Jailed Jazeera journalists file appeals

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IOL Mideast Egypt Al Jazeera~1 Associated Press From left, Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian acting bureau chief of Al Jazeera Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, appear in a courtroom in Cairo. File picture: Heba Elkholy, El Shorouk Newspaper

Cairo -

Three Al Jazeera journalists jailed by Egypt for alleged ties with Islamists filed appeals on Thursday against their convictions, their network said in a statement.

Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were convicted in June of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news that portrayed Egypt as being in a state of “civil war”.

Greste and Fahmy received seven-year terms, while Mohamed was jailed for 10 years, in a case that sparked international outrage.

Eleven defendants tried in absentia, including one Dutch and two British journalists, were given 10-year sentences.

“Lawyers for the jailed Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt have today filed appeals against their convictions,” the network said.

“The weaknesses in the case have been widely protested and ridiculed, and much of the public criticism is reflected in the grounds for appeal,” it said.

Al Jazeera said the case would be heard before the Court of Cassation “which will examine the grounds for hearing a full appeal”, but that the date has not yet been set.

It cited as grounds for appeal five key points, including “flaws in the arrest procedure” as well as “the fact that evidence presented in court did not marry with the charges”.

“The appeal will lay bare the flaws in the case against Peter, Baher and Mohammed,” said Al Anstey, the managing director of Al Jazeera English.

“We look forward to them being exonerated in due course. We will not stop in this quest till they are reunited with their families, and back doing the jobs they love.” - Sapa-AFP

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