An Egypt court Monday turned down a plea for bail by jailed Al-Jazeera journalists, who denied links with the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood. The journalists, who have spent nearly 100 days in jail since their arrest, are charged with spreading false news and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Al-Jazeera trial, in which 20 defendants stand accused, has become a major topic among Egyptians these days.
The judges ordered that two defendants who claimed they had been tortured be examined by “independent forensic doctors.”
They then adjourned the trial to April 10 without granting bail to any of the accused. Prosecutors insist that the Al-Jazeera journalists colluded with the Brotherhood, now designated a “terrorist” group, and falsely sought to portray Egypt in a state of “civil war.”
One of the accused told judges he cannot be considered as a terrorist or a Brotherhood member as he is a “liberal man.”
Another accused also denied any links with the Brotherhood, saying that he and fellow jailed journalists posed no threat to Egypt.
The authorities banned the Egyptian channel of the broadcaster’s network following former President Mursi’s removal.
Monday’s hearing comes a day after Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim accused an Al-Jazeera editor of helping to leak classified intelligence documents, in a separate espionage trial involving Mursi.
The minister charged that Amin El-Serafi, secretary to Mursi, leaked the documents to “an editor of Al-Jazeera, who is also a Brotherhood member.”