A Cairo court on Thursday announced it was postponing the final verdict in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera English reporters for next week.
The move came because the judge in the case, Hassan Farid, was ill, two judicial officials said, adding that the new date for the verdict, Aug. 2, would also likely be pushed back because the illness was serious. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of regulations.
The three Al-Jazeera staff — Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy who was the TV channel’s Cairo acting bureau chief, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed — were detained in December 2013.
Fahmy and Mohammed expressed their disappointment over the postponement when they came out of the court building to talk to reporters on Thursday.
“It’s really disappointing what happened today, we were expecting a verdict,” Mohamed said.
“We should have been informed, or my lawyer should have been informed officially that there is an adjournment or delay,” a visibly frustrated Fahmy added.
The Al-Jazeera trio were first sentenced to up to 10 years in prison each, before Egypt’s highest court ordered the retrial on charges of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organization, and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security.
Greste was released and deported in February. Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail.