UPDATE: Egypt court again postpones Al-Jazeera journalists' verdict

File: Three Al-Jazeera journalists will know on Sunday if they are going to be retried on charges of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood in a case that has deeply embarrassed the government of Abdel al-Sisi said he wished they were never charged.

* Editor's note, this article has been updated with new information.

CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Sunday postponed for a second time its verdict in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists, rescheduling it for August 29.

The court had already put off its much anticipated verdict last Thursday because the judge was reportedly ill. 

Another judge at Sunday's hearing said the verdict was being delayed again because other defendants in the trial could not be brought to the court room from their cells.

The court was due to deliver its verdict on Sunday in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists accused of supporting banned Islamists, after the judge missed a previous hearing.

The case has deeply embarrassed the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has said he wishes the reporters were never put on trial.

The verdict had been due on Thursday but the judge, reportedly ill, did not appear.

If the judge does show up on Sunday, the verdict may come out as visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry holds talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri.

A guilty verdict for the journalists, including Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, may further embarrass the government, as it resumes close ties with Washington after a diplomatic rift in 2013.

Fahmy, Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste were convicted last year of "spreading false news" during coverage of the turmoil after the army, then led by Sisi, overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Fahmy and Greste, who has since been deported, received seven-year prison terms in the original trial, while Mohamed was jailed for 10 years.

The case further strained Egypt's ties with Western countries which had condemned a deadly crackdown on Morsi's supporters.

An appeals court ordered a retrial, saying the original judgement lacked evidence against the three journalists, who work for the Doha-based network's English channel.


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