Egyptian-Canadian journalist to appeal terrorism conviction

Mohamed Fahmy stands behind bars as he waits to listen to the ruling at a court in Cairo on June...

Mohamed Fahmy stands behind bars as he waits to listen to the ruling at a court in Cairo on June 23, 2014. (REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy will appeal his terrorism conviction in Egypt.

Fahmy's family told Canadian Journalists for Free Expression he will be represented by two internationally renowned lawyers and experts on human rights, Amal Alamuddin and Negad el-Borai.

Fahmy was the bureau chief for Al Jazeera English in Cairo when he was arrested Dec. 29 alongside Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed and Australian correspondent Peter Greste.

On June 23, all three were found guilty of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization, and sentenced to seven years in prison.

The appeal is expected to be filed in court Wednesday. In extracts from the appeal document given to CJFE, Fahmy's lawyers argue the evidence presented in court was "illogical and incomprehensible."

Videos of sheep farming, obviously altered photos of Fahmy and his colleagues and the pop song Somebody That I Used To Know by singer Gotye were presented as evidence at the bizarre trial.

As well, the court seemed confused about the difference between Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, which the government shut down in Egypt last year, and Al Jazeera English.

The lawyers also cite a lack of access to evidence, being asked to pay to see the evidence, and the inability for the defence to call an independent second expert to testify about videos the three men allegedly shot.

Fahmy initially said he was unsure if he would appeal because he had "no faith in the judicial system" and didn't want to go through the "circus of a retrial."

He said he hoped "backroom unannounced diplomatic efforts" would help free him.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said government officials are discussing the case behind closed doors, but Fahmy's dual citizenship adds a "significant complexity" to the case.


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