POLITICS

Mohamed Fahmy Retrial Postponed After Witnesses Fail To Show Up

03/08/2015 06:22 EDT | Updated 05/08/2015 05:59 EDT
MOHAMED EL-SHAHED via Getty Images
Al-Jazeera journalist Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy arrives at the court in Cairo for his retrial on February 12, 2015. An Egyptian court ordered the release of two Al-Jazeera journalists pending their retrial for allegedly supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Fahmy was ordered to pay bail of 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($33,000) while Egyptian Baher Mohamed was released on his own recognisance along with other defendants. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMED EL-SHAHED (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)
CAIRO - The retrial of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy on terror-related charges in Egypt has been postponed again — this time to March 19.

The decision this morning followed a brief hearing in Cairo for Fahmy and his Al Jazeera English colleague, Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed. The postponement was ordered after two witnesses failed to show up for the hearing.

Fahmy and Mohammed were freed on bail last month while awaiting trial, though they've had to check in with police daily. Their first hearing on Feb. 23 also was postponed because two witnesses were no shows.

The two, arrested in December 2013, are accused of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage Egypt's national security.

Satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera is based in Qatar, a main backer of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Fahmy, Mohammed and a third Al Jazeera journalist, Australian Peter Greste, were initially convicted and sentenced to between seven and ten years.

The trial was widely criticized by human rights organizations, and a new trial was eventually ordered after the three spent more than a year in a Cairo prison.

Greste left Egypt on Feb. 1 under a law which allows foreigners convicted of crimes to be deported, but the same has not yet happened for Fahmy — a situation he has criticized the Canadian government for.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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