Egypt President Sisi hints at pardoning jailed Al Jazeera journalists

  • 2014-11-20
  • From wire reports, RIGA

(photo: creative commons)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Thursday that the possibility of granting presidential pardons to three jailed Al-Jazeera journalists was being considered.

"This issue is under study," Sisi said in an interview with France 24.

Asked if they will be pardoned soon, he said: "If we find that this is appropriate for Egyptian national security, then we will do it."

Sisi's remarks come after he signed a decree last week allowing for the extradition of foreigners charged with a crime or sentencing in Egypt, AFP reports.

An Egyptian court in June handed down jail terms of between seven and ten years to the three journalists.

Australian and Latvian citizen Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian Mohamed Baher were convicted of supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, and of spreading false information.

Sisi has previously stressed that he does not interfere in Egyptian court rulings, but he has mentioned more than once that he wished the journalists had been deported rather than prosecuted.

An Egyptian court is scheduled to hear an appeal of their convictions on January 1.