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Egypt sets Feb. 20 as starting date for Al-Jazeera trial

Egypt's state agency says judicial authorities have set Feb. 20 as the starting date for the trial of 20 people, including four foreigners, they say worked for the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network.

Charges include joining a terrorist group, aiding a terrorist group, and endangering national security.

The Middle East News Agency said Monday that Cairo Appeals Court head Nabil Salib set the date for the trial before the Cairo Criminal Court.

It says eight are in detention while 12 others will be tried in absentia.

Al-Jazeera has consistently denied the charges, saying its journalists were only doing their jobs.

The government claims the channel works on behalf of Egypt's largest Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has designated terrorist. The Brotherhood denies it practices violence.