An Egyptian court has ordered the release of jailed researcher Patrick Zaki on Tuesday, although he has “not been acquitted” of the charges against him, an Egyptian rights group and a judicial source said.
Zaki, an Egyptian graduate student at Italy’s University of Bologna, was arrested on February 7, 2020 after he landed at Cairo’s international airport on a visit to see his family.
He is accused of subversive propaganda and spreading false information over an article he wrote about the plight of Egypt’s Christians.
The next hearing in the trial will take place on February 1, 2022.
Arguments in the trial still need to be heard when it resumes with the date set, said Lobna Darwish, of Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights EIPR where Zaki previously worked as a researcher.
“The judge just postponed and released him in the meantime,” she said, adding it was not immediately clear how quickly Zaki would be physically released.
The researcher and activist risks up to five years in jail, Egyptian judicial sources said.