The parents of jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste have reacted with emotion at the seven-year sentence handed to their son.
The distressed father of jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste has described as “crazy” a seven-year jail sentence handed to his son.
Brisbane-based Juris and Lois Greste were on camera when they discovered on Monday the prison term imposed by an Egyptian court on the Al Jazeera English reporter and his two network colleagues.
“That’s crazy, that’s crazy, that’s absolutely crazy,” Mr Greste says as he is seen standing and walking away from the computer that delivered the news, becoming visibly upset.
Wife Lois clenches her fist against her chest as she asks the ABC camera to “finish”.
“Seven years … my God,” she said, turning away.
Outside the courthouse in Cairo, Andrew Greste was at a loss to explain what had gone wrong for his brother during the trial.
“We’re in a completely different country, a different culture and a different system,” he told ABC TV by way of explanation.
“From my point of view we’ve seen no incriminating evidence in court. It’s extremely difficult to understand what has gone wrong.”
The trio was each jailed for seven years on terrorism-related charges, accused of being aligned with the outlawed Muslim brotherhood and reporting false news.
They pleaded innocent saying they were only doing their job, reporting on Egypt’s political situation.
Andrew Greste said he and another sibling Mike were not able to see their brother amid the chaotic scenes after the verdict.
Greste was whisked away from the mesh cage in which he was locked in the courtroom.
The brothers hope to unite on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to give up the fight to get Peter released because we believe he’s completely innocent, he’s done nothing wrong. It’s just going to be a matter of looking at all the options,” Andrew said.
One of those options will be an appeal, which can be a lengthy process in the Egyptian judicial system.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told the family the Australian government will try to intervene and secure Greste’s release by making contact with the country’s new president.
Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were arrested in December during a raid on their Cairo hotel room and have been detained since.
Juris and Lois are due to speak with media in Brisbane on Tuesday.