London-based Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Clooney wants Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to deliver on his promise and pardon the Al Jazeera journalists if found guilty, when the verdict from their retrial is announced on 29 August.
In an article, Hollywood actor George Clooney's wife has said that President el-Sisi should keep his word and pardon Canadian journalist Mohammed Fahmy or "deport him to Canada as previously agreed".
Fahmy was arrested along with two other Al Jazeera English journalists, Peter Greste of Australia and Egyptian Baher Mohamed on 29 December 2013, and charged with several offenses. The major charges against them included belonging to a terrorist organisation and broadcasting false news and reports of civil strife in Egypt.
In June 2014, the trio were found guilty by the Cairo Criminal Court and sentenced to seven years of incarceration. However, on 1 January 2015 the Appeals Court announced a retrial for them and in February, Fahmy, Mohamed and Greste were released on bail.
On Sunday, 2 August, the verdict in the retrial was postponed for the second time in four days and now has been scheduled for 29 August.
In the article published on Sunday, Clooney said: "The long-awaited verdict on Aug. 29 will reveal whether the new panel of judges is independent and fair. In a case where even Egypt's Supreme Court (and the Supreme Court prosecutor) have admitted that there is no evidence to support the charges, the only just conclusion that can be reached by the judges is a full acquittal. But if the judges fail to acquit, President Sisi must promptly intervene to rectify this injustice. Sisi has previously distanced himself from the case, and promised to pardon the journalists if they are re-convicted. He rejected calls to intervene while the retrial was pending, but it will be over when the verdict is announced."
The previous verdict was severely criticised by the international community for being politically motivated.
Moreover, Clooney has claimed, "...there was no evidence to show that the journalists were in any way linked to the Brotherhood or had ever falsified content. Egypt's own Supreme Court had ruled that the original conviction for terrorism was unjust because there was not even an allegation (let alone proof) of violent intent, and in the retrial the prosecutor did not present anything new. On the false news charge, even the court's own experts concluded that there was no evidence of any fabrication or manipulation of footage."
Fahmy is currently out on bail but still remains in Egypt along with Mohamad, but Greste has reached Australia after the country deported him to Cyprus.