12:10 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Egypt’s top appeals court has ordered a retrial of the three al-Jazeera journalists, who were imprisoned over a year ago for allegedly spreading false news about the country.

    MOSCOW, January 1 (Sputnik) – Egypt’s highest court of appeals has ordered a retrial of three al-Jazeera journalists who were imprisoned there last year, AFP reports, citing a defense lawyer.

    "The Court of Cassation has accepted their appeal and ordered a retrial," said Amr Al-Deeb, a defense lawyer for Peter Greste, following a brief hearing.

    Greste, an Australian national, as well as Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian national, were found guilty of publishing false news about Egypt, as well as aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization authorities there have considered a terrorist organization since December 2013. Al-Jazeera has demanded the release of its reporters, and is calling the accusations against them absurd.

    In June 2014, Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in prison. Mohamed received a 10-year sentence. The verdict sparked an international outcry.

    The three journalists will remain in custody until the new trial begins. "They will not be released until they appear before the new chamber, which will decide whether to release them or not," said Mostafa Nagy, a defense attorney, as quoted by Reuters.

    The relatives of the imprisoned reporters hoped they would be released on Thursday. "I hoped for more today," said Adel Fahmy, Mohammed Fahmy’s brother, as quoted by the Associated Press.

    In November 2014, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said he was considering a pardon for the three al-Jazeera journalists, according to the AP. The pardon could be granted if it did not undermine the country’s national security.

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    Tags:
    journalists, retrial, Al Jazeera, Egypt
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