The head of the Journalists' Syndicate Yehia al-Qalash on May 1, 2016 after police stormed the syndicate and arrested two journalists. (ASWAT MASRIYA/ Mohamed el Raai)
CAIRO, Jun 18 (Aswat Masriya) - Qasr al-Nil misdemeanor court adjourned the second trial of head of press syndicate and two senior syndicate board members accused of harbouring fugitives, to June 25.
Head of the Press Syndicate Yahia Qallash and senior board members Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abd al-Reheem were referred to court late May on charges of harbouring two journalists who were arrested from inside the syndicate earlier the same month.
The two journalists, Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Saqqa, had been at the syndicate’s headquarters when police arrested them. They both work for the Yanayir Gate news website
The defense lawyers demanded for Badr, Saqqa, the police officer who arrested them and syndicate's security personnel to be summoned to hear their testimonies.
On May 1, security forces raided the syndicate’s building to arrest the two journalists on accusations of “inciting protests” against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision to hand over control over two strategic Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.
Tension between the press syndicate and the interior ministry heightened following the raiding of the syndicate's headquarters.
The interior ministry's denied that security forces had stormed the building or used any kind of force.
The ministry also said in a statement then that the two journalists Badr and Saqqa handed themselves over to the police “once they were informed of the arrest warrant" that had been issued for them.