January 01, 2015
CAIRO: Egypt's top court Thursday ordered a retrial of three Al-Jazeera reporters whose imprisonment on charges of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood triggered global outrage, but kept them in custody pending a new hearing.
Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed of the broadcaster's English service were detained in December 2013 for spreading false information.
Greste and Fahmy each got seven years, and Mohamed was jailed for 10.
"The Court of Cassation has accepted their appeal and ordered a retrial," Greste's defence lawyer Amr Al-Deeb said Thursday.
The defendants were not at the hearing, which lasted just 30 minutes.
Hopes for the journalists' release have grown following a thaw in diplomatic relations between Cairo and Qatar, where their employer is based.
"I hope the reconciliation efforts between Egypt and Qatar continue for the sake of my brother and his colleagues ... who are paying the price of a political crisis," Fahmy's brother Adel told reporters.
Both the defence and the prosecution had requested a retrial. - AFP