NEWS

Mohamad Fahmy Reservedly Optimistic About Retrial Verdict

04/21/2015 10:23 EDT | Updated 06/21/2015 05:59 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Canadian Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy, speaks to the media outside a court before his retrial in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. The retrial of two Al-Jazeera English journalists who face terror-related charges in a case widely criticized by human rights organizations and media groups has been postponed to March 8. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
The Canadian Al-Jazeera English journalist awaiting a new trial in Egypt says he has hope he'll be returning to Canada soon, but believes his "nightmare is not over yet."

"I still fear I could be sentenced to be sent back to prison and I live my life in that way trying to make use of every single day and just hoping for the best," Famhy told CBC Montreal's Daybreak in a phone interview from Cairo.

Fahmy and two colleagues were arrested in 2013 on terror-related charges, accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and falsifying news.

Fahmy denies that claim, arguing the charges were part of a "political score settling," between the governments of Egypt and Qatar, which owns Al-Jazeera.

Following a trial denounced by human-rights groups and criticized by Western governments, the three were convicted in 2014. One, an Australian journalist, was deported. The other is an Egyptian citizen. Fahmy, who held Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, fell into a grey area.

He renounced his Egyptian citizenship earlier this year and was released pending a new trial after one was ordered by a judicial appeal body.

Fahmy learned Monday that the Canadian government would issue him a new passport, a document he has been working to obtain since his release on bail in February.

His original passport was seized when he was arrested. The Canadian government had initially refused to issue him a new one, citing his bail conditions.

Hopes for marriage

​Fahmy said living in Cairo without that documentation has be challenging.

"In Canada, the passport is used solely for travel. Here, you rent a flat, power of attorney, banking, [a passport is required for] everything," Fahmy said.

"The fact [is now] I can walk safely here knowing I have a passport in my back pocket."

He said he now hopes to get married to fiancée Marwa Omara, who publicly lobbied for his freedom during his trial.

After several delays, Fahmy will be back in an Egyptian court Wednesday as a technical committee, which is reviewing the so-called fabricated Al-Jazeera reports, delivers its findings.

"I hope that session is positive for me," Fahmy said.

"I'm expecting a verdict within a month or two, and then I would be on the first flight to Canada, without my suitcases even, if I'm exonerated."

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