Trial of journalists accused of insulting police postponed

The South Giza criminal court has decided to postpone until 20 December the trial of a chief editor and journalist belonging to an independent opposition paper. Both in individuals are accused of insulting police officers at Basatin police station.

Wael al-Ibrashy, chief editor of Sout al-Umma, and Saad Khattab, a journalist at the paper, collaborated to write a critical article running under the headline “Basatin police department: A slaughterhouse for the poor and corruption whistle blowers, and a heaven for criminals.” The piece prompted the head of the investigations services and other two officers to accuse the journalists of slander.

Al-Ibrashy faces another two lawsuits, one of which is relates to charges of libeling a public servant through false reporting. The second charge was raised by Minister of Finance Youssef Botrous-Ghali, who accused al-Ibrashy of inciting public disobedience against a recently-enacted law on property taxes.   

In 2007, al-Ibrashy was sentenced, along with three other editors, to one year in prison for publishing false news that, it was claimed, destabilized the country.

The penalty was later dropped by an appeals court, which instead fined the defendants LE20,000 each.


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