Amal Clooney takes on Egyptian govt

George Clooney’s wife represents one of three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Amal Clooney, the wife of actor George Clooney, has been threatened with arrest in Egypt for criticising its judicial system.

The human rights lawyer represents one of the three Al Jazeera journalists- jailed and facing retrial - for supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Amal Clooney acts for Egyptian Baher Mohamed who together with Australian Peter Greste and Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy have been jailed for a year. In June 2014 they were sentenced to between seven and ten years imprisonment for, they insist, merely doing their jobs as journalists.

Clooney's report on behalf of the International Bar Association says Egypt's judicial system is not as independent as it should to be.

It allows Egyptian officials to handpick judges known to dispense particularly brutal verdicts for political cases.

She wanted to release the report in Cairo but was warned against doing so on pain of arrest.

Clooney says the flaws in the judicial system will compromise the integrity of the journalists' retrial.

Last week Egypt's High Court ordered their retrial citing procedural flaws in the original trial, which was condemned by human rights groups and Western governments.

The reporters' imprisonment is a thorny issue for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he seeks to prove his commitment to reform, having ousted his Islamist predecessor in July 2013 and cracked down on the Brotherhood.

Additional reporting by Reuters.