Al-Qaeda chief's brother released from Egypt jail

Cairo: The brother of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, under investigation for allegedly calling for the creation of a "terrorist group", was released on Thursday from an Egyptian prison, his son and security officials said.

On 23 February, a court had ordered the release of Mohamed al-Zawahiri, 64, while the investigation was still underway.

Security officials said Zawahiri walked out on Thursday from a Cairo prison after having spent more than two-and-a-half years behind bars.

"My father has been released. He reached home early this morning," his son, Abdelrahman Zawahiri, told AFP.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Zawahiri was initially arrested in August 2013, a month after the army's ouster of Egypt's 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 handed death sentences.

The judge, however, kept 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 23 February, another court ordered his release.


Updated Date: Mar 17, 2016 19:05 PM

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