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Draghi hails Zaki's freeing from prison in Egypt ahead of trial

07 dicembre 2021 | 20.13
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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A protest in Bologna demanding Zaki's release FOTOGRAMMA

Italy's premier Mario Draghi has welcomed researcher Patrick Zaki's release from jail in Egypt, where he is due to stand trial next year for 'spreading false news'.

Draghi "expresses satisfaction for the freeing from prison of Patrick Zaki, whose case the Italian government is following with the maximum attention," said a statement from his office.

Earlier, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio announced Zaki's release from prison.

"First goal reached: Patrick Zaki is no longer in prison. Now we'll keep working below the radar - steadily and with commitment," Di Maio tweeted.

"A big thanks to our diplomatic service," the tweet added.

The court in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura which ordered Zaki's release postponed Zaki’s trial until 1 February to allow prosecutors and defence lawyers time to prepare their arguments.

Zaki was arrested on 7 February last year, after he landed at Cairo’s international airport on a visit to see his family. He is a postgraduate student at Bologna University and researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), which announced his release.

in July, Italian lawmakers urged the government to grant Zaki citizenship in a bid to help gain his release. Zaki’s arrest drew condemnation in Italy and calls for his immediate release by organisations inside and outside Egypt, including an appeal from the European Union and its parliament.

Zaki is accused of spreading false news inside Egypt and abroad, disturbing security and social peace, and using his Facebook account to promote violence and terrorism, according to statements by the prosecutor's office.

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