CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said yesterday 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,” 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,” he was quoted as saying. AFP