CAIRO — Oct. 23 marks the 300th day behind bars for the Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who were convicted in June of aiding terrorists (the Muslim Brotherhood) and endangering national security. On Oct. 19, Fahmy's family posted to his Twitter account some of the messages he had wanted conveyed to the public. One tweet read, "I have forgiven a certain defendant who harmed us and [the Al Jazeera] network beyond repair in this silly case. Hope God does." Reading through the several hundred pages of the case file, it is not difficult to identify the "certain defendant" who might have inexplicably led himself and his colleagues to jail.
For the first few days after the arrest of Fahmy (Al Jazeera's Egyptian-Canadian Cairo bureau chief) and Greste (an Australian correspondent) at the well-known Marriott Hotel in Cairo, Mohamed — their Egyptian producer, who had been arrested at his house on the outskirts of Cairo — provided extensive testimony under interrogation incriminating the network, Greste and his predecessor, Dominic Kane.