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Cairo hearing in Al Jazeera journalists' retrial adjourned

The reason for the postponement wasn’t clear and there was no official confirmation from judicial authorities.

FILE: Al Jazeera staff (L-R) Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in an Egyptian Court on 23 June 2014. Picture: EWN.

CAIRO - A Cairo court session which had been expected to deliver a verdict on Thursday in the retrial of Al Jazeera television journalists has been adjourned, Al Jazeera said on its Twitter feed.

Egypt court adjourns Al Jazeera retrial for ninth time http://t.co/FsaN2Ndf8y pic.twitter.com/3NFHXf9hKV

The reason for the postponement was not clear and there was no official confirmation or response from judicial authorities.

Al Jazeera Media Network's spokesperson expressed their anger over the matter.

"We are extremely angry that the verdict has been adjourned today" - Al Jazeera Media Network's spokesperson #Freeajstaff

A judicial source told Reuters that the Cairo criminal court had decided to postpone the verdict hearing to 2 August, a date also quoted by state news agency MENA.

A Reuters journalist spoke to three guards outside the court building who said that there would be no hearing on Thursday, without giving a reason.

The journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed in Egypt after the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi amid mass protests against his rule in 2013.

Mohamed Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were released on bail in February after spending more than a year in custody.

A third Al Jazeera journalist, Australian Peter Greste, was deported in February.

"All this is very stressful for ourselves and our families," Fahmy told reporters outside the court building.

"We came here prepared to hear the verdict and then we find out that it's not going to happen without any real reason given. That doesn't make sense," he said.

The journalists were originally sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison on charges including spreading lies to help a terrorist organisation, which they have denied.

Egypt's High Court ordered a retrial in January.

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