News World Greste trial nears end

Greste trial nears end

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Detained Australian journalist Peter Greste and two other Al Jazeera reporters are expected to learn their fate next week when an Egyptian court hands down its verdict.

Greste and two other reporters working for Qatar-based Al Jazeera English are among the 20 accused of aiding outlawed group the Muslim Brotherhood, in a trial that has triggered international outrage amid fears of growing media restrictions in Egypt.

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Egyptian prosecutors have demanded the maximum penalty of 15 to 25 years in jail for all defendants.

Of those on trial, 16 are Egyptians charged with joining the Brotherhood, which, in the wake of the army’s ouster last July of elected president Mohamed Morsi, has been designated a “terrorist” organisation.

Four foreigners including Greste are charged with “spreading false news” and collaborating with and assisting the Egyptian defendants in their crimes by providing media material, as well as editing and publishing it.

Nine of the 20 defendants are in detention, with the others being tried in absentia, including three foreign reporters who are abroad.

The trial began on February 20.

– With AAP