NEWS

Mohammed Fahmy's family seeks his deportation from Egypt

01/06/2015 10:55 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT
A statement from the family of a Canadian-Egyptian Al-Jazeera journalist, imprisoned in Egypt, says they have requested his deportation and were told by a senior official the process is in its "final stages."

They were arrested under suspicion of spreading false news and being sympathetic toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last week a Cairo Court of Cassation ordered a retrial, after a court sentenced Greste and Fahmy to seven years in prison and Mohammed to 10 years last June amid widespread international condemnation.

Fiancée hopes for return to Canada

Marwa Omara, Fahmy's fiancée, spoke to CBC Montreal's morning show, Daybreak, on Tuesday.

She said they had been hoping Fahmy would be released at his New Year's Day court date. Instead, a retrial was ordered despite what she said was a lack of evidence.

Omara said Egyptian retrials could take up to a year, during which time Fahmy would likely remain in prison.

Fahmy has had one operation for a broken shoulder, but needs a second surgery. Omara is hoping he can be deported back to Canada to get his second operation.

"Since we’re getting closer to the finish line, we want more from [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper […] because Mohamed’s health is deteriorating. We need their support. We need their support now," Omara said.

She said their plan since first agreeing to marry has been to move to Vancouver together.

Greste's family says they have also applied for deportation.

Federal government supports appeal

In November Egypt issued a new decree granting President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi the power to deport foreign defendants convicted or accused of crimes.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was asked about the latest developments during an appearance in Toronto.

"The entire team, both in Cairo and Ottawa, have been working very hard on this, as I have," he told reporters.

"Obviously, we're pleased that he was granted an appeal. We've been working very closely at senior levels within the Egyptian government, and when we have further news to announce, we will."

A spokeswoman for Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich said the government continues to harbour "serious concerns" about the judicial process that led to Fahmy's earlier conviction, and "welcome" the decision to hold a retrial. 

"We anticipate the new judicial process involving Mr. Fahmy to be conducted in a fair, transparent and expedited manner," Erica Meekes told CBC News in a written statement.

"Canadian officials will continue providing consular assistance to Mr. Fahmy and working with Egyptian authorities to have his medical needs met."

MORE:cbcNews