Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Verdict in Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy's Re-Trial Postponed until Aug. 29

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Verdict in Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy's Re-Trial Postponed until Aug. 29

Article excerpt

Verdict in Fahmy re-trial delayed to Aug. 29


CAIRO - An Egyptian court postponed announcing a verdict in the much criticized case of Mohamed Fahmy once again on Sunday -- a move the Canadian journalist described as "crippling."

The delaying of the verdict to Aug. 29 marks the latest of several postponements in the long-running legal saga that has been denounced by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

"It's crippling our lives," a frustrated Fahmy said of the postponement.

Fahmy spent more than a year in prison before a successful appeal of an earlier conviction resulted in his current retrial.

The 41-year-old's troubles began in December 2013 when he was working as the Cairo bureau chief for Qatar-based satellite news broadcaster Al Jazeera English.

Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were detained and charged with a slew of offences, including supporting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, a banned organization affiliated with ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, and with fabricating footage to undermine the country's national security.

After a trial which was decried as a sham, they were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms before their appeal led to a fresh trial being ordered.

Greste was suddenly allowed to leave Egypt before their retrial began, under a law which allows for the deportation of foreign nationals convicted of crimes.

Fahmy gave up his dual Egyptian citizenship while behind bars in the hopes that he could follow the same path, but that didn't happen. He was, however, granted bail in February shortly after his second trial got underway.

Fahmy's brother, Adel, told The Canadian Press from Cairo that Sunday's latest postponement of the verdict has added to the suffering of not only his brother, but the entire family.

"I know he's suffering very much, and not able to sleep well, or eat well. And now he has a teaching job at UBC in British Columbia starting in September and you know his whole life, and ours, has been crippled," he said. …

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