Actor George Clooney’s wife, Amal Clooney, is one of the lawyers set to seek pardon from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for three Al Jazeera journalists if they are found guilty of aiding a terrorist group. The journalists, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste, were given a retrial after being convicted in June 2014 of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news.
Amal, along with Canada's ambassador to Egypt, is planning to meet Sisi to discuss the government’s actions if the journalists are found guilty. "We will be seeking confirmation of these meetings in the next week. And … we will seek an assurance that President Sisi will deliver on his promises to pardon the journalists if any guilty verdict is announced, or else deport Fahmy to Canada as previously agreed," Amal wrote in a statement Sunday.
The retrial in a Cairo court was adjourned for the 10th time on Sunday as the journalists, who are from Egypt, Canada and Australia, now wait for more than a month for a verdict that is expected to be delivered on Aug. 29. According to Amal, no evidence was provided to support allegations that the men falsified news and aided the Brotherhood.
In case of a guilty verdict, Amal said, the U.S., the United Nations and other important organizations should urge Sisi to step in. She also called the retrial a "show trial," and said Egypt had the fourth-highest number of journalists imprisoned in the world -- the country's "worst record" since such recordkeeping began, in 1990, citing Reporters Without Borders.
Fahmy, an Egypt-born Canadian national, and Mohamed, an Egyptian, were granted bail in February, while Greste was deported to his home country Australia under a new ruling that allowed Sisi to extradite foreign defendants convicted or accused of crimes, the Australian Associated Press reported.