Three lawyers representing Al-Jazeera English journalists on trial in Egypt abruptly quit the case Thursday, accusing the Doha-based network of using the arrest of their staff to tarnish the country's image.
The three lawyers' decision came during a hearing for the men in Cairo in which prosecutors said lawyers for the journalists must pay 1.2 million Egyptian pounds — $700,000 — for copies of the evidence against them.
Canadian-Egyptian acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed are facing charges of belonging to and aiding a terrorist group, namely the Muslim Brotherhood. That's the group from which ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hails. They also face charges of fabricating footage to undermine Egypt's national security.
The journalists and the network deny the charges.
At the hearing, lawyer Farag Fathi stood in front of Judge Mohammed Nagi Shehata to denounce the network.