Former director of news at Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel Ibrahim Helal has been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court after being accused of passing state secrets to Qatar in what human rights groups have dismissed as a politicised case and a sham trial.
The journalist who was tried in absentia was among 10 other people whose verdicts were delivered by the court including toppled president Mohamed Morsi who was sentenced to 15 years in prison along with other defendants.
Helal said he was “angered” by the verdict and that the entire judicial process was “fabricated.”
“What really annoyed me today was the intensive talk and the self-assurances given by the judge and how he was sure these people betrayed the nation. For me, the real betrayal of this nation is wasting its time and money in these silly things and fabricated cases.
“I feel they have nothing so they are continuing to self-assure that we really proved it. If you read the evidences, the only two kinds of evidences they have are the secret investigations of the police which was disclosed and the second is the confessions of others who gave statements under interrogation and torture,” he added.
“This is a political case … They want to threaten all journalists inside and outside of Egypt.”
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