Australian Al-Jazeera journalist imprisoned for 7 years in Egypt to appeal conviction

Rod McGuirk / The Associated Press
July 24, 2014 06:30 PM

CANBERRA, Australia - An Australian Al-Jazeera journalist will appeal his conviction on charges that he aided Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, his brother said Friday.

Journalist Peter Greste's brother Mike Greste said a Cairo legal firm had been appointed and was in the process of lodging the Al-Jazeera-funded appeal. Family spokeswoman Heidi Ross said she could not say whether the journalist's two Al-Jazeera colleagues would also appeal their convictions.

"We have to have faith in the Egyptian system," Mike Greste told reporters in the family hometown of Brisbane, Australia.

"We have to exhaust all legal channels prior to ... taking other strategies," he added, referring to options including appealing to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for clemency.

An Egyptian judge released his reasoning on Wednesday for harsh sentences issued against Greste, Egyptian-Canadian acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed.

Each was sentenced to seven years over convictions linked to aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government declared a terrorist organization after the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader.

Under Egyptian law, now that the judge has released his reasoning, the defendants can appeal the verdicts before the Court of Cassation, the highest court of appeal.

The sentencing of the three journalists on June 23, after a five-month trial described as a "sham" by rights groups, caused an international outcry.


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