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Mon 3 Aug 2015 09:42 AM

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Egypt postpones Al Jazeera retrial verdict to August 29

Lawyer says is to avoid clash with Kerry visit, canal gala

Egypt postpones Al Jazeera retrial verdict to August 29
(Getty Images)

An Egyptian court on Sunday postponed delivering its verdict in the retrial of three Al Jazeera TV journalists, a decision a defence lawyer said was to avoid bad publicity during a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries.

It was the second time the verdict in the internationally sensitive case has been postponed, this time to August 29.

The three men were originally sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison on charges including spreading lies to help a terrorist organisation, a reference to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The journalists deny the charges and Egypt's high court ordered a retrial in January.

Mohamed Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were released on bail in February after more than a year in custody.

Australian Peter Greste, was deported in February.

Amal Clooney, one of Fahmy's lawyers, said the adjournment appeared aimed to avoid clashing with Kerry's visit to Cairo on Sunday as well as a lavish inauguration planned on Thursday for a second Suez Canal.

"The verdict may be coming later; but the world will still be watching," Clooney said in a statement.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said during a news conference with Kerry that no journalists in Egypt were in jail over their reporting.

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