CAIRO, April 22 (UPI) -- A judge in Cairo, presiding over the trial of three journalists, admitted he could not make out what was said in key evidence against them.
The trial of the three al-Jazeera employees, charged with smearing the reputation of Egypt, aiding terrorists and doctoring footage, was delayed Tuesday to eject all reporters from the trial after Judge Mohamed Nagy said he could not understand what was being said in recordings presented by the prosecution as crucial evidence.
“If anyone understands, please let us know, because we don’t understand either,” Nagy said at one point in the trial.
The selection of video footage presented seemed random, and included an interview about sheep farming in addition to interviews with several Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Defense lawyers questioned the relevance of the evidence, and one defense lawyer, Khaled Abou Bakr, asked the judge, “Can we put the sheep aside and bring what is relevant to the case? This is a waste of time.” The case of the three journalists -- Australian reporter Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and local producer Baher Mohamed -- has been portrayed around the world as an attack on press freedom, but within Egypt, many feel the Arabic section of the al-Jazeera network has shown bias against the Egyptian government.
The defendants have been jailed since December.