Australian journalist Peter Greste has described the most recent evidence presented in an Egyptian trial of Al Jazeera journalists as “meaningless”.
According to Al Jazeera, Peter Greste and colleagues Mohammed Fahmy and Barher Mohamed, who have been imprisoned in Cairo for 115 days, were not granted bail at Tuesday’s hearing and are to remain in prison until the next hearing on May 3.
Prosecutors allege that the journalists and their Egyptian collaborators had colluded with the Brotherhood movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and falsely sought to portray Egypt as being in a state of “civil war” since his overthrow by the army last July.
But the defendants – eight of whom are in custody, including Greste – deny any link to the now terror-blacklisted Islamist group and insist they were merely gathering news.
At Tuesday’s seven-hour hearing, prosecutors presented audio recordings of three Egyptian defendants who allegedly provided video footage of pro-Morsi demonstrations to the network’s Egyptian arm, Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr.
Defence lawyers complained they were unable to hear the recordings due to their poor quality.
“If anyone understands the content, please inform us,” one of the lawyers told the judges.
One judge responded: “I can hear it from my side”.
Prosecutors also submitted photographs of maps said to be of the area around the embassy of the United Arab Emirates – the scene of several pro-Morsi protests, and leaflets calling for protests.
Greste said that it was another day of “meaningless” prosecution evidence.
“The case turns to be an abuse against journalism and freedom of speech,” he told AFP during a recess.
Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera’s Cairo bureau chief, told AFP: “If these are the evidences, we should see all journalists in the world on trial.”