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Egypt jails TV anchor for 10 years.

Cairo: An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced a TV presenter to 10 years in prison on charges of inciting the overthrow of the government and use of violence against state institutions.

The Cairo Misdemeanour Court issued the ruling in absentia against Moataz Matar, an Egyptian presenter working with the Turkey-based Al Sharaq opposition TV station.

Matar is an outspoken critic of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi and his government.

Al Sharaq condemned the ruling in a Facebook statement, saying it is "evidence of violation of freedom of opinion and expression" in Egypt.

The verdict, which can be appealed, was in response to a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against Matar, who is believed to be a sympathizer of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Matar left Egypt in mid-2013 following the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi, a senior Brotherhood leader.

Last October, the state-run Egyptian radio where Matar was an employee, sacked him after accusing him of working for a broadcaster "hostile to Egypt".

Wednesday's sentence against Matar comes weeks after Egyptian TV journalist, Ahmad Mansour, working with the Qatari TV network Al Jazeera, was briefly detained in Germany over an Egyptian request.

Mansour, who also holds British citizenship, is wanted in Egypt where a court has sentenced him to 15 years in prison on charges of involvement in a lawyer's torture. Mansour has denied the charges, saying they are politically motivated.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly said that the country's judiciary operates independently.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jul 10, 2015
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