Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste freed from prison


Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste poses for a photograph in Kibati village, near Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in this August 7, 2013 file photo. Greste, imprisoned in Egypt 400 days ago on charges that included aiding a terrorist group, will be deported to his native Australia on February 1, 2015, Egypt's state news agency reported.   REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/Files  (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC CONGO - Tags: CRIME LAW MEDIA POLITICS CIVIL UNREST PROFILE) Peter Greste, pictured in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has spent a year in an Egyptian prison (Picture: Reuters)

Australian journalist Peter Greste has been freed by officials in Cairo and was this afternoon being deported.

The Al Jazeera reporter was released earlier today and put on an EgyptAir flight to Larnaca, Cyprus, according to a senior Egyptian prison official.

The agency said his release on Sunday, after more than a year behind bars, followed a presidential ‘approval’ and both said it was coordinated with the Australian Embassy in Cairo.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fahmy, and Egyptian Mohammed Baher were sentenced to at least seven years in prison on terrorism-related charges last year in a trial that was described as a sham by rights groups.

epa04599057 (FILE) A file photo dated 31 March 2014 shows Australian journalist Peter Greste (R), Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohammed Fahmy (C) and journalist Baher Mahmoud (L) standing in front of the judge's bench during their trial for allegedly supporting a terrorist group and spreading false information, in Cairo, Egypt. According to local reports Peter Greste will be deported to Australia 01 February 2015 after serving 400 days in jail, as yet there is no news about his colleagues from al-Jazeera Mohammad Fahmy or Baher Mahmoud.  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI Greste (right) was on trial with Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohammed Fahmy…

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