Yesterday, during the eleventh hearing for Peter Greste, Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy, defence lawyers cross-examined the committee relied upon by the Egyptian prosecution to provide opinion on the alleged evidence against Al Jazeera English’s three journalists.
Responding to questions from defence lawyers, members of the technical committee could not recall a single example of what they believed was fabricated coverage from the Al Jazeera team. They also could not proffer an opinion on how national security was endangered either.
One of the committee members also said evidence was later added that was not originally submitted. It was also revealed that a member of the committee was present at the arrests of Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste in the Marriott. Defence lawyers argued this called into question his independence as an expert.
Previous court dates have been entirely led by the prosecution, and bizarrely included footage being shown of Sky News Arabia tourism reports, BBC podcasts, songs by Gotye, photoshopped images of Mohammed Fahmy, Peter Greste’s family photos, and some of Greste’s award-winning work from East Africa.
Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said, “Today’s exchanges were a further blow to the prosecution case. The evidence that has been presented is palpably absurd. The world knows more than ever that our journalists have no case to answer and are completely innocent. We hope this case wraps up very soon with Peter, Baher and Mohamed back with their families and doing the important jobs that they have always carried out with the utmost of integrity.”
The fourth Al Jazeera journalist held, Abdullah Elshamy, is held separately. He has been held without charge since 14 August 2013. He has been in solitary confinement for a fortnight amid serious concerns for his health.
For more information, visit http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/freeajstaff/.