Egypt Independent

Defendant in Al Jazeera trial acquitted



Cairo Criminal Court, headed by judge Hassan Farid, acquitted on Wednesday Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Attia, a defendant in a case known publicly as the Al Jazeera trial or "Marriott Cell" case.
 
The defendant was acquitted of charges of joining an outlawed organization, assaulting the personal freedom of citizens, harming national unity and public peace and targeting public facilities.
 
Twenty journalists, including nine Al Jazeera journalists, were tried in the same case. Al Jazeera journalists Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy, Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were arrested in December 2013 while the rest were tried in absentia.
 
Many international rights and press freedom organizations condemned the arrests and demanded the journalists' release.
 
The three Al Jazeera journalists were tried over charges of circulating false news and aiding a terrorist organization.
 
Greste was deported to Australia in February 2015 after he and his colleagues were found guilty by the court in a verdict that was widely condemned. Fahmy and Mohamed were released by a presidential pardon in September 2015.