03/19/2015 05:49 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT

Mohamed Fahmy Retrial Resumes In Cairo

The twice-delayed retrial of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy on charges of spreading false information commenced Thursday in a court in Cairo.

CBC's Derek Stoffel and Sasa Petricic reported the new trial began as witnesses who had been no-shows at earlier hearings finally appeared.

The witnesses included Egyptian state television video engineers, who were questioned about reports written about Al-Jazeera footage. Those reports formed part of the prosecutions's case in the initial trial of Fahmy and two of his Al-Jazeera colleagues.

Other witnesses called included two security officials and two police officers.

Fahmy was acting bureau chief for Al-Jazeera's English network when he, Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed and Australian journalist Peter Greste were arrested in December 2013 on charges accusing them of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security. Al-Jazeera is based in Qatar, a main backer of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. 

The trio of journalists were convicted last year and Fahmy received a seven-year prison sentence. However, an Egyptian appeal court ordered a new trial for the three, who were released on bail in February. Greste was deported back to Australia that month.

Fahmy has said that the authorities are holding his Canadian passport, which he said he needs to conduct official transactions, including getting married and renting hotel rooms or a car. Fahmy, formerly a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, gave up his Egyptian citizenship earlier this year as a condition for getting released from prison.

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