Latest: Ibrahim Halawa and his family 'vindicated by today’s verdict'

Update 5pm: Ibrahim Halawa's soolicitor today paid tribute to the "hard work and dedication" of this family during their struggle to have him released from detention in Egypt.

The 21-year-old from Firhouse in Dublin was found innocent in a court in Cairo of all charges against him after spending jail for more than four years in prison.

Halawa suffered "horrific human rights abuses and inhuman prison conditions" while in detention in Egypt, his legal team also stated.

Ibrahim’s international legal team expresses great relief at this news and continues to stand in solidarity with Ibrahim and his family," a statement from the firm read.

"During his time in detention in various prison facilities in Egypt, Ibrahim witnessed and was subjected to horrific human rights abuses and inhuman prison conditions, including violent physical abuse, overcrowding, humiliation and appalling lack of sanitation".

Solicitor to Ibrahim Halawa, Darragh Mackin of KRW Law said:"Today marks the end to what has been a turbulent four years.

"Throughout that time Ibrahim Halawa and his family have tirelessly fought for his freedom – and today’s verdict is a true testament to their hard work and dedication.

"Ibrahim and his family have been vindicated by today’s verdict.

"We now look forward to seeing Ibrahim return home to his family in the coming days, and will be

actively engaging with the Irish and Egyptian Government to ensure that happens without any

further delay.”

Update 2.03pm: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the Government will facilitate Ibrahim's return at the earliest opportunity.

“I have just received news from our Embassy in Cairo that the Egyptian courts have delivered an acquittal in the case of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, and that Ibrahim’s sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima have similarly been acquitted," he said.

“I wholeheartedly welcome this conclusion to what has been an extraordinarily protracted case.

“Now that Ibrahim has been cleared of all charges, I expect he will be released as soon as possible and can return home to his family. The Government will facilitate his return home at the earliest opportunity.

“I want to acknowledge the consular and diplomatic work undertaken on Ibrahim’s behalf by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Embassy in Cairo throughout this lengthy process. Following today’s verdict, they will continue to assist Ibrahim and his family to ensure he gets home as soon as possible.”

Earlier:Irishman Ibrahim Halawa has been acquitted on all charges according to reports from Cairo.

The 21-year-old from Firhouse in Dublin has been in an Egyptian jail for four years.

Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister Katherine Zappone has said he will return home to Ireland.

Minister Zappone, who is Ibrahim’s local TD, has also confirmed that she has asked Government colleagues to ensure that every support is put in place to help Ibrahim re-start his life following his ordeal.

Speaking following the acquittal Minister Zappone said: “My thoughts, prayers and solidarity are with Ibrahim and his family, his dedicated legal team and everyone who I worked and campaigned with to bring us to this moment.

"It is important that all who campaigned over the past four-years continue to co-operate to ensure Ibrahim’s return is arranged as soon as possible.

"I remain in close contact with Ibrahim’s sister Somaia, his lawyers and Government colleagues to ensure that Ibrahim’s needs are immediately assessed and any supports required put in place.

"Assessing his health, psychological and social needs must be the priority and supports offered.

"The Halawa family, in particular sisters Somaia and Fatima, are among the most inspiring people I have campaigned side by side with. At vigils, demonstrations and meetings within Government Buildings, their patience, persistence and resilience has been an inspiration, as is their love for their brother.

"Lawyers Katie O’Byrne, Caoilfhionn Gallagher of Doughty Street Chambers as well as Darragh Mackin of KRW Law provided invaluable support and information throughout the ordeal and their persistence has also been crucial in keeping the campaign in the public eye.

"It is important also to acknowledge the dedication and work of the Department of Foreign Affairs on what has been one of the most difficult consular cases in years.

"As an Independent Minister and Dublin South West TD I am committed to see this case through to its conclusion, Ibrahim’s homecoming. I will work with the family, lawyers and politicians from all sides including those who travelled to Cairo as part of the Oireachtas delegation.”


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