A court in Egypt has ordered the release on bail of two Al Jazeera journalists being retried for allegedly aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were imprisoned in June along with their Australian colleague, Peter Greste who was released just over a week ago.
But their convictions for spreading false news to help a terrorist group were overturned on appeal last month.
Mr Greste’s release was possible because of a decree that allows the deportation of foreign nationals to their home countries.
Fahmy who has Canadian citizenship has revealed that he was forced to renounce his Egyptian citizenship to qualify for deportation to Canada; however Mr Mohamed has no foreign passport.
A retrial was ordered by the country’s Court of Cassation last month, overturning a lower court’s verdict that had falsely found them guilty of helping the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
“Bail is a small step in the right direction, and allows Baher and Mohamed to spend time with their families after 411 days apart,” an Al Jazeera spokesman said on Thursday.
“The focus though is still on the court reaching the correct verdict at the next hearing by dismissing this absurd case and releasing both these fine journalists unconditionally.”
The next hearing would be on February 23.