Egypt issues law on extradition of foreign defendants

 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decreed a law Wednesday on the extradition of foreign defendants sentenced or charged in Egypt, after an international uproar over the detention of Al-Jazeera journalists.

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014, 01:42 AM IST

Cairo: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decreed a law Wednesday on the extradition of foreign defendants sentenced or charged in Egypt, after an international uproar over the detention of Al-Jazeera journalists.

An Egyptian court handed down in June jail terms ranging between seven and 10 years for three Al-Jazeera journalists including an Australian and dual Egyptian-Canadian national.

US President Barack Obama has led international calls for their release. 

Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian Mohamed Baher were accused of supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, and spreading false information.

"When required by the state`s supreme interests, the President may extradite (foreign) defendants, whether convicted or standing trial, to their countries to either be tried or serve their sentences, upon the request of the public prosecutor," read the decree issued by Sisi.

An accompanying statement by his office added that the measure was taken to "preserve Egypt`s international image".

An Egyptian court is scheduled to hear on January 1 an appeal by the three journalists against their conviction.

Although Sisi has previously stressed that he does not interfere Egyptian courts rulings, he mentioned more than once that he wished the journalists had been deported rather than prosecuted.