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Egyptian Court Orders New Trial For Al-Jeezera Journalists

After a hearing that lasted only minutes, Egypt's highest court ordered a new trial for three Al-Jeezera journalists who were convicted in 2013 of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.

Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed will likely have to remain in custody pending their new trial, a defense lawyer told journalists shortly after the January 1 ruling.

The three men were convicted in a controversial trial of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt, and of disseminating "false news" about Egypt.

They were given seven- to 10-year sentences.

Authorities have accused Qatar-based Al-Jeezera of acting as a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood, but the station denies the accusations.

A defense lawyer told AP that he expects the new trial to begin within one month and that he hopes for a "happy end" to the story.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has the right to pardon or deport the foreign citizens regardless of the new trial but has said he will do so only if the act is "appropriate for Egyptian national security."

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP