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Egyptian Court Upholds Journalist's Jail Sentence

An Egyptian court has upheld a one-year prison sentence for a journalist convicted of libeling a Cabinet minister.

While the appeals court upheld the decision to imprison newspaper reporter Abdel Nasser el-Zuheiri Thursday, it also overturned sentences for two of his colleagues.

The Cairo court required the three journalists to pay fines totaling about $5,000 ($1,700 US each).

El-Zuheiri and his colleagues are reporters for the independent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. In 2004, they reported that police had searched the premises of the housing minister at the time, Mohamed Ibrahim Suleiman.

Suleiman contended the report was false and sued for damages.

Press freedom groups are renewing calls for President Hosni Mubarak to fulfill his pledge to abolish the practice of jailing journalists for their reports.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.