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Egypt: Peter Greste calls Egypt court ruling a ‘travesty of justice’

Australian journalist Peter Greste told FRANCE 24 that he was “devastated” and “appalled” by an Egyptian court’s decision on Saturday to sentence him and two Al-Jazeera colleagues to three years in prison, calling it a “travesty of justice”.

The court convicted Greste and his colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, in a retrial on charges of operating without a press license and broadcasting “false” news harmful to Egypt.

Greste, who was deported in February, was sentenced in absentia, while Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, and Mohamed, an Egyptian, were remanded in custody following the trial.

“I’m shocked. I’m appalled at this and I’m absolutely devastated. This is a travesty of justice, there’s no other way of putting it,” Greste told FRANCE 24 by telephone.

“Throughout this whole trial, for the more than 18 months that this legal process has been under way, the prosecutor has had plenty of time to come up with evidence to confirm the allegations,” he said, adding that none was ever produced.

Greste went on to publicly challenge the prosecutor in the case to present evidence that he and his colleagues had produced false news.

“We haven’t seen that to date and I would like to know what it is that the court thinks that we lied about,” he said.

Greste also stepped up pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to issue a pardon. Sisi discussed this possibility in an interview with FRANCE 24 in November.

Read More: france 24 - Video: Peter Greste calls Egypt court ruling a ‘travesty of justice’ - France 24

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