Journalist Syndicate leaders trial adjourned to June 25

Abdeen Court in Cairo has adjourned to June 25 the trial of three leading members of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate accused of harboring two colleagues wanted by police, as well as circulating false news.

The court convened on Saturday for the trial of Journalist Syndicate Chief Yehia Qallash, Syndicate Secretary General Gamal Abdel Rahim and the Khaled al-Balshy, chief of the syndicate's freedoms committe.

However, the court ruled that the hearings would be postponed in order to hear the testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

Qallash, Rahim and Balshy were arrested in the wake of a stand-off between the syndicate and the Interior Ministry after the journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Sakka took refuge in the syndicate's headquarters last month, fearing arrest by police.

After police officers entered the syndicate to detain Badr and Sakka, the syndicate's leadership made claims that the ministry had used excessive force in its "raid" on the journalist body's HQ building in downtown Cairo.

Security was tight as the court convened on Saturday, with large numbers of news reporters in attendance at the high-profile trial.

Qallash, Rahim and Balshy were previously granted bail of LE10,000 each but decided to remain in custody.

On June 4, the court adjourned their trial to June 18 in response to the defense lawyer's request for more time to study the case.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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