Al-Jazeera journalists’ lawyers quit over ‘insult’ to Egypt

Al-Jazeera’s award-winning Australian correspondent Peter Greste, center, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed appear in a defendants’ cage in a courthouse near Tora prison along with other defendants during their trial on terror charges in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 3, 2014

The main lawyers representing Australian journalist Peter Greste and another Al-Jazeera reporter on trial in Cairo quit in court on Thursday, accusing the Qatari broadcaster of working against Egypt.

Greste, watching the proceedings from the caged dock, appeared taken aback when his lawyers announced to the judge that they were quitting the case, which has sparked international concern for the detained reporters.

The Australian is on trial with four other journalists for the Qatar-based broadcaster on charges of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and defaming Egypt.

Only three of the journalists are in prison, along with six other defendants in the case. The rest of the 20 defendants are abroad or in hiding.