Greste lawyer to request pardon after Eid holiday
Al-Jazeera news channel's Australian journalist Peter Greste inside the defendants cage during his trial. AFP/Khaled Desouki

CAIRO: Lawyer Mostafa Nagy will submit a request to pardon Australian Journalist Peter Greste, who was deported to his home country in February after he was sentenced to prison in the case locally known as “Mariott Cell Case,” he told The Cairo Post Wednesday.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a presidential pardon Wednesday afternoon to 100 imprisoned persons, including Greste’s two colleagues; Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed. The trio was originally arrested in December 2013, and accused of affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news.

“Greste was sentenced in absentia not because he is at large, but because he was deported per a presidential decree,” Nagy added. He assured that Greste’s legal situation does not prevent him from requesting a pardon on his behalf.

Nagy explained that Wednesday’s pardon is not an amnesty, which means that the pardon commutes the sentence but does not remove the charges from a criminal record.

Nagy noted that presidential pardons are often issued in cases when there is a social interest is seen in releasing a prisoner, including young age.

Among those pardoned names were activists Sanaa Seif and Yara Sallam, who were sentenced to two years in prison in June 2014 over participating in an anti-Protest Law demonstration.

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