The Courier-Mail

De­fi­ant Greste stuck in Aus­tralia amid ar­rest fears

- BRIT­TANY VONOW

JOUR­NAL­IST Peter Greste is a vir­tual pris­oner in Aus­tralia, un­der threat of be­ing ex­tra­dited to Egypt to serve a three­year jail sen­tence if he trav­els out­side his home coun­try.

The for­eign cor­re­spon­dent said he was “dev­as­tated and sick­ened” by the three-year sen­tence he and two col­leagues had been given by an Egyp­tian court.

Speak­ing to The Couri­erMail yesterday, Greste vowed to fight the ver­dict, which was handed down to him and his col­leagues, Cana­dian-Egyp­tian jour­nal­ist Mo­hamed Fahmy and Egyp­tian pro­ducer Ba­her Mo­hamed.

“My lawyers are say­ing that if I travel any­where that I run the risk of be­ing ar­rested,” he said.

“That means that if I cross the bor­der pretty much any- where, there’s a chance that I will be ar­rested … Aus­tralia is a pretty good place to be forced to stay but it still rep­re­sents a form of con­fine­ment. I can’t ac­cept that.”

Greste, Fahmy and Mo­hamed were ar­rested in De­cem­ber 2013, ac­cused of spread­ing false in­for­ma­tion and aid­ing the black-listed Mus­lim Brother­hood.

Greste spent 400 days in an Egyp­tian prison, even­tu­ally be­ing re­leased in Fe­bru­ary, while his col­leagues were re­leased on bail soon af­ter fol­low­ing an ap­peals court last year over­turn­ing their ini­tial jail sen­tences.

The most re­cent re-trial now sees Fahmy and Mo­hamed forced to re­turn to jail.

“I know what these guys are up against, I know what they’re fac­ing and it’s go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly tough for them,” Greste said.

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