Military trial of Egypt online journalists adjourned

The Rassd news network, along with the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr news channel, had aired several leaked videos and audio clips of recorded statements by al-Sisi

Military trial of Egypt online journalists adjourned

World Bulletin/News Desk

A military court on Sunday adjourned until Tuesday the trial of five Egyptians charged with releasing leaked videos of army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi with the intent of defaming the army, the lawyers of the defendants said.

Amr al-Qazzaz and Islam al-Homsi, a co-founder and a senior manager of Rassd, an online news network linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, along with three other colleagues, including two who are tried in absentia, face charges of attempting to defame the military through releasing leaked videos of al-Sisi.

Their lawyer Mohamed Badran Mansour said judges adjourned the trial until the two defendants who are tried in absentia are notified of the trial in line with military laws.

Military prosecution authorities referred the five defendants to court in late February, following three months of investigation.

According to Article 204 of Egypt's new constitution, the military judiciary authority is solely responsible for crimes related to the armed forces and military personnel.

Civilians, the article adds, can be prosecuted by military judiciary authorities for crimes committed against the army, which should be defined by the law.

The article drew criticism from several local and international rights organizations and protest groups.

The Rassd news network, along with the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr news channel, had aired several leaked videos and audio clips of recorded statements by al-Sisi, who is widely seen as the chief architect of last summer's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.

In one such video, said to have been recorded last December, the army chief warns of far-reaching consequences if the military were to intervene in Egypt's domestic politics.

The Egyptian Armed Forces have never addressed any of the leaks.

Last Mod: 02 Mart 2014, 17:48
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