CAIRO – A retrial date has been set for a Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who has been imprisoned in Cairo for more than a year.
Fahmy’s release had been labelled “imminent” just days ago by former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
But Fahmy’s family now says Egyptian authorities have told them Fahmy, and his Egyptian colleague, Baher Mohamed, will be re-tried on Feb. 12.
They say the development represents their “worst nightmare.”
Fahmy, Mohamed and Australian reporter Peter Greste had all been working for satellite news broadcaster Al Jazeera English when they were arrested in December 2013.
After a trial denounced by human rights groups as a sham, the trio were then sentenced on terrorism-related charges but an appeal in January allowed their case to be re-tried, although a date had not been set.
Greste was then freed last Sunday under new legislation that allows Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to deport foreigners convicted or accused of crimes.
Fahmy — who had dual Egyptian-Canadian citizenship — relinquished his Egyptian citizenship with the hope of being released under the same legislation.