Ahead of Cairo ruling, journalists in Al-Jazeera English trial cross fingers for acquittal

Three journalists on trial in an Egyptian court on terrorism-related charges were awaiting its verdict on Friday, hopeful that they will be acquitted after lengthy proceedings criticized worldwide by press freedom and human rights advocates.

Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera’s acting Cairo bureau chief, said he was particularly hopeful because senior Egyptian officials had agreed to meet his lawyer Amal Clooney, arriving to represent him in Cairo for the first time in Saturday’s proceedings.

“I’m cautiously optimistic. The fact that the government has been responsive to Amal’s requests is a very positive sign,” he said. “The presidency has approved a meeting with her and so has the foreign ministry and (Justice Minister Ahmed) el-Zind.”