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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 16:54 UK

Egypt quashes Saad Eddin Ibrahim jail term

Saad Eddin Ibrahim in 2006
Complaints against Saad Eddin Ibrahim are still outstanding

A court in Egypt has overturned a two-year jail sentence imposed on Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent critic of President Hosni Mubarak's government.

Mr Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American academic living in exile in the US, was convicted last August of damaging Egypt's reputation.

He had said US aid should depend on political reform in Egypt.

He said he was happy the conviction had been overturned, but that there were still other cases against him.

Obama visit

Mr Ibrahim is a long-standing opponent of the government and has previously been jailed.

He told the AFP news agency that other cases filed by members of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party remained outstanding, include one alleging grand treason.

He said he could be arrested if he returned to Egypt.

His American-born wife, Barbara, told the AP news agency that she expected her husband to end his two-year exile when the last of the lawsuits had been taken care of.

Human rights activists had described the sentence handed down to Mr Ibrahim as undemocratic.

The decision to overturn the two-year sentence comes less than two weeks before US President Barack Obama is expected to make a landmark speech in Cairo on relations with the Muslim world.



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