Egypt court orders release of Qaeda leader’s brother

Friday 19/02/2016
Investigation is still underway

CAIRO - An Egyptian court ordered on Tuesday the release of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri's brother, who is under investigation for calling for the creation of a "terrorist group," an official said.
Mohamed al-Zawahiri, 64, was arrested in August 2013, a month after the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and at the height of a crackdown against his supporters.
He and dozens of other defendants were accused of having formed "a terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda" and plotting attacks on government installations, security forces and Egypt's Christian minority -- all charges which defence lawyers denied.
He stood trial but was acquitted of any wrongdoing in October 2015, although 10 co-defendants were given death sentences.
The judge, however, remanded him in detention and ordered an investigation into remarks made by Zawahiri during the trial in which he allegedly called for the formation of a "terrorist group".
But on Tuesday another court ordered his release while the investigation is underway, an official said.
Zawahiri's son Abdelrahman Zawahiri confirmed the decision but said it was not clear when his father "will be actually released" from prison.

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