News World Reports Greste to be freed

Reports Greste to be freed

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Peter Greste’s brother says there’s been no confirmation the jailed Al Jazeera journalist will be released from prison and the campaign won’t be over until he’s in a plane outside Egyptian air space.

Andrew Greste on Sunday responded to reports his brother, who was jailed on charges of fabricating news footage on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, had been granted a presidential pardon.

“There’s a rumour mill in Egypt, it’s extremely hot and we’ve learnt by bitter experience and been let down in the past at each one of these milestones,” Andrew Greste told Fairfax Radio.

“We’ve heard he’s going to get out and all these rumours to be dashed.”

• Egypt court orders retrial for Greste
• Appeal hope for Peter Greste

Monday will mark 400 days since the Al Jazeera reporter’s arrest and imprisonment, along with two colleagues.

Australian media on Sunday morning seized on unconfirmed reports Mr Greste would be released from prison and deported.

The reports appear to have originated from an arabic tweet by @BakryMP, an Egyptian politician.

“It’s not official and we haven’t official notification from our government yet,” Mr Greste told Fairfax Radio.

Greste and Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohammed Fahmy were sentenced to seven years imprisonment, and Egyptian Baher Mohammed received 10 years.

The trio were convicted despite no evidence being produced and have since been granted a retrial by Egypt’s appeals court.

Peter Greste
Social media was abuzz with reports that Peter Greste would be released. Photo: AAP

Andrew Greste told the ABC the family was pinning its hopes on the application for Mr Greste’s deportation, which has been before the Egyptian authorities since the beginning of December.

He said the conditions of that diplomatic process are unknown, but as it was supported by the Australian government he expected they would be notified if it was successful.

Andrew Greste said he expected they’d learn quickly if a pardon was granted as Peter’s other brother, Michael, is in Egypt.

“Our expectation is, we hope that if he does receive a pardon it could be very short notice,” Mr Greste told the ABC.

Egypt issued a decree in November granting its president the power to deport foreign defendants convicted or accused of crimes.

A presidential pardon for Greste has not been ruled out.

Andrew Greste said the family had been let down before.

“Until @PeterGreste butt is on a 747 outside of Egyptian airspace the campaign to free him continues,” Andrew Greste tweeted on Sunday morning.

He said it had been a tough 400 days but Peter was doing as well as can be expected.

“It’s certainly been tough and trying and it tests your patience and his tolerance and his patience have certainly been tested,” he said.

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