Greste’s legal team say trial was ‘a sham’

Peter Greste’s legal team are more determined than ever to ensure the Australian journalist clears his name, following his three-year sentence by an Egyptian court.


The sentences handed down on Saturday to Mr Greste and his two Al Jazeera colleagues, Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed, have been widely condemned.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was dismayed and that the verdict was distressing for Mr Greste and his supporters.

“I have spoken with Mr Greste today and reaffirmed that I will continue to pursue all diplomatic avenues with my Egyptian counterpart to clear his name,” she said in a statement.

The journalist’s lawyer, Chris Flynn, and barrister, Christopher Ward, issued a statement saying they remained committed to securing justice for Mr Greste.

“The verdict is plainly political, it is unjust and it offends the rule of law,” Mr Flynn said.

“The verdict is completely inconsistent with the findings of the Egyptian court’s own technical committee, which reviewed the evidence.

“As a process, the re-trial was a sham and was miscarried at every step.”

Mr Flynn said Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi now had the opportunity to correct the injustice “and we look forward to him doing so swiftly”.

Greens foreign affairs spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam said Mr Greste hadn’t committed any crime.

“Not only has Peter been locked up for doing his job, he has expressed concern that a criminal record resulting from today’s conviction may make it difficult for him to continue his career as a foreign correspondent,” Senator Ludlam said.

Labor also condemned the verdict, with opposition leader Bill Shorten and opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek releasing a joint statement saying journalists shouldn’t be jailed for doing their job.

“An injustice like this touches all of us that enjoy the freedom to say this is not right.”

Amnesty International said the outcome was “farcical”.

“The charges … were always baseless and politicised, and they should never have been arrested and tried in the first place,” Amnesty’s North Africa and Middle East director Philip Luther said.

“Today’s verdict must be overturned immediately.”