An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced three journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language service to three years each for "spreading false news" and supporting the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Canadian national Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian citizen Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste -- an Australian deported to his home country in January -- were all found guilty and sentenced to three years hard labor by Cairo’s criminal court.

Baher Mohamed was given an additional six months -- and slapped with a fine -- for possessing "a spent bullet casing".

Three other Egyptians -- Suhaib Saad, Khaled Abdul Rauf, and Shadi Abdel-Hamid -- were also slapped with three-year jail terms, while two others -- Khalid Abdul Rahman, Nora Hassan al-Banna -- were acquitted of the charges.

Speaking via Twitter from Australia, Greste -- who was tried in absentia -- said he was "shocked, outraged, angry, upset" by the sentences doled out to his colleagues.

Shaaban Said, a member of the reporters’ defense team, told Anadolu Agency that Saturday’s verdicts could all still be appealed before Egypt’s Court of Cassation (the country’s highest court of appeal).

The three reporters were originally detained in Cairo in 2013 shortly after the Egyptian authorities branded the Muslim Brotherhood -- the group from which former President Mohamed Morsi hails -- a "terrorist" organization.

In June of last year, the three were all given jail terms ranging from seven to ten years each after being convicted of "broadcasting false news" and "threatening Egypt's national security".

In February, however, an Egyptian court ordered a retrial for the three reporters.

The court had initially been scheduled to deliver its final verdict on July 30, but delayed it until August 2 -- and then again to Aug. 29 -- amid reports that the presiding judge had fallen ill.

A number of western governments and rights groups have called for the journalists' release amid an international solidarity campaign led by Al Jazeera.

The Egyptian government accuses the Qatar-based Al Jazeera of harboring bias in favor of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group -- an allegation the channel denies.

Relations between Cairo and Doha have been tense due to the latter's criticism of Morsi's ouster in a 2013 military coup. 

Anadolu Agency