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In this March 31, 2014 file photo, Al-Jazeera English producer Baher Mohamed, left, Canadian-Egyptian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, right, appear in court along with several other defendants during their trial on terror charges, in Cairo.
Heba Elkholy—AP

An Egyptian judge released two Al Jazeera English journalists, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, on bail Thursday pending their retrial.

The retrial was ordered last month after Egypt’s top appeals court overturned a lower court’s verdict that had found Mohamed and Fahmy guilty of spreading false news to help the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood, the BBC reports.

Mohamed and Fahmy had been arrested in December 2013 and charged in June 2014 after an internationally condemned trial. Before the retrial, they had been sentenced to seven years, with Mohamed receiving an additional three years.

Fahmy, who holds Canadian citizenship, has relinquished his dual Egyptian citizenship to qualify for deportation under a presidential decree that allows foreigners on trial to return to their home country. Mohamed does not hold a foreign passport.

Mohamed tweeted news of his freedom while the fiance of Fahmy was photographed expressing her joy.

An Al Jazeera spokesman said in a statement following the announcement:

The order arrives two weeks after the release of Australian Peter Greste, an Al Jazeera journalist who had been imprisoned in Egypt for 400 days. Greste, who was also to be retried, was deported on Feb. 1 and has returned to his home in Australia.


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