Egyptian court acquits Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa of murder


Egyptian court acquits Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa of murder

Halawa was 19 when he travelled to Egypt for a summer holiday with his family, who were among those protesting against the overthrow of the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in the summer of 2013. "Following today's verdict, they will continue to assist Ibrahim and his family to ensure he gets home as soon as possible".

"After four turbulent years, Ibrahim Halawa has been found innocent of all charges".

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney said that the lack of verdict in August was "frustrating". Their innocence has been confirmed.

"I am sure Ibrahim's family are looking forward to the moment that Ibrahim will return to his home and loved ones".

Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister Katherine Zappone has said he will return home to Ireland.

The sentencing of the 21 year old Irish citizen and is expected to be delivered today after the trial was adjourned for the 25th time last month.

"This is very frustrating for Ibrahim Halawa and for his family, who were expecting some definitive news, and I fully share that sense of disappointment and frustration at yet another delay in this long-running case", he said in a statement.

He said the Government's priority now is to support Ibrahim and his family in every way that they can in order to ensure that Ibrahim is able to return home to his family and friends as soon as possible.

"This is the good news we had been hoping for".

It is now likely that Halawa will arrive in Ireland in the coming days.

"However, it is utterly disgraceful that at the same time the Egyptian authorities have handed out heavy sentences to 442 others after sham proceedings in a mass trial that flouted the most basic standards of a fair trial, while security forces who used excessive and lethal force during protests that day have escaped unpunished".

Mr Halawa was just 17 when he was arrested.

Morsi was removed by the Egyptian Army in July 2013, and the ouster led to violent clashes in which 44 people died and a further 59 were wounded, according to Egyptian news agency MENA.