An Egyptian court has released the detailed ruling on why it sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison for airing what it described as "false news," a case long criticized by press freedom advocates and others.

The ruling, published by the state news agency MENA on Sunday, says the three men — Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed — essentially were serving the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, which authorities consider a terrorist organization.

The ruling also said the three were biased in their reporting, operated without press credentials and secretly worked in at a hotel in central Cairo without a permit.

Mohammed and Fahmy are now imprisoned, while Greste previously was deported. The journalists and the network deny the accusations.