Qasr Al-Nil Misdemeanour Court postponed the appeal of the Press Syndicate leaders against their imprisonment to 25 February for a final verdict, according to state media.
During the court session, the court heard statements of all witnesses in the case, in which the prosecution representative demanded the court uphold the verdict against the leaders; meanwhile, the defence of the leaders requested their acquittal from charges leveled against them.
This was the second court session to view the appeal.
Previously during the first court session on 25 December, the prosecution’s argument had not been prepared. Therefore, the court postponed it to hear the prosecution’s argument and to implement a number of requests by the syndicate leaders’ defence team.
In November, the court sentenced head of the Press Syndicate Yehia Qalash, secretary general Gamal Abdul Reheem, and head of the syndicate’s Freedoms Committee Khaled El-Balshy to two years in prison on bail of EGP 10,000 each.
The leaders were accused of harbouring wanted journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud Al-Saqa in the syndicate; however, the defendants claimed no arrest warrants were issued against them.
Badr and Al-Saqa were arrested after security forces stormed the syndicate on 1 May to arrest them, as they had launched a sit-in in front of the Press Syndicate headquarters in late April in opposition to security raids on their private residences. The journalists were wanted in the case known as the “Red Sea islands” case, as they were accused of publishing false information.