Statement by Minister Flanagan on latest developments in Ibrahim Halawa court case17/1/17
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, reaffirmed his determination to see Ibrahim Halawa return to Ireland as soon as possible after today’s court hearing.
Speaking after the latest court hearing in the case in Egypt, Minister Flanagan said:
“My thoughts are with Ibrahim Halawa and his family today. I note that there has been yet another adjournment in the case to 14 February. However, there appears to have been some progress in the trial at today’s hearing, with a number of witnesses called and questioned. I sincerely hope that this indicates that the trial is finally now moving forward and that there will be an early conclusion.
“Our Ambassador to Egypt, Damien Cole, and a team from the Embassy was again in court today – as they have been at every hearing in the case – to observe the proceedings, and the Ambassador has provided me with a report on the latest developments. The Embassy will again be represented at the next hearing on 14 February.
“The Irish Government is continuing to give its full support to efforts to secure Ibrahim Halawa’s freedom and his return to Ireland as soon as possible, and we will be maintaining our engagement with the Egyptian authorities to that end. In the course of an all-Party Oireachtas delegation visit to Egypt last week, President el Sisi reiterated to the delegation the message he has given the Taoiseach in respect of this case and his willingness to exercise discretion when the case has concluded while the Oireachtas delegation reinforced the strong and determined consensus in Government and across Dáil Éireann on this issue.
“I have spoken to Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, about this case many times, most recently on Monday.
“We are all united in our determination to see this young man - who has spent almost three and a half years in prison without having been convicted of any wrongdoing – back home with his family and friends in Ireland at the earliest possible time.
“My Department and our Embassy in Cairo will be continuing to provide all possible consular assistance to Ibrahim and his family.”
17 January 2017