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Egypt's Sisi 'wishes' jailed Jazeera reporters not tried: report

Published on Jul 7, 2014 6:11 AM
 
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during a joint news conference with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (not seen) in Khartoum June 27, 2014. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday he “wished” three jailed Al-Jazeera journalists including an Australian had not been put on trial, conceding the case had been damaging, a newspaper reported. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday he “wished” three jailed Al-Jazeera journalists including an Australian had not been put on trial, conceding the case had been damaging, a newspaper reported.

The journalists – Australia’s Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed – were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail for allegedly defaming Egypt and aiding banned Islamists, in a ruling that sparked a global outcry and demands for a presidential pardon.

The June 23 sentencing had had a “very negative effect,” Mr Sisi conceded to Egyptian editors during a roundtable, according to the mass circulation daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“The sentencing of several journalists had a very negative effect, and we had nothing to do with it,” Mr Sisi was quoted as saying.
“I wish they were deported after their arrest, instead of being put on trial,” he added, apparently referring to Greste, the sole non-Egyptian.

 
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