A Cairo court announced on Monday that it would deliver a verdict on 30 July in the retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists and a number of students.
The journalists previously received sentences of seven to 10 years in prison on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation for their work with Al Jazeera network. The Qatari-owned network is seen by Egyptian authorities as sympathetic to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy attended Monday’s court session at Tora Prison. The third journalist, Peter Greste, was deported in February.
Fahmy, who renounced his Egyptian citizenship to secure his release during the case, has been leading a fierce campaign to sue the network, under the slogan of “Journalism is not political activism”. This comes as part of attempts to separate his job as a journalist from his involvement with the channel. However, Fahmy will not be able to leave Egypt to Canada before the retrial has finished.
Other defendants in the case include student Sohaib Saad Al-Haddad, who was forcibly disappeared by security forces at the beginning of June, with photojournalist Esraa El-Taweel and friend Omar Ali while they were having dinner in Zamalek.
According to reporters at Monday’s session, Al-Haddad told the judge that during his 12 days of disappearance, he was blindfolded without ability to make contact. He was then taken to Tora Prison.
Al-Haddad is one of five students who are defendants in the trial, and who are charged with conspiring with Al Jazeera. However, they maintain they have no relations with anyone from the media network.