Germany Frees al-Jazeera Journalist Sought by Egypt

BERLIN (AP) —

An al-Jazeera journalist detained by German authorities on an Egyptian arrest warrant emerged from a Berlin judicial building Monday again a free man after prosecutors decided not to pursue an extradition request further.

Ahmed Mansour pumped his right hand in the air as crowds waiting for him outside the building’s main gates chanted “down, down with military rule.”

“I am free now despite el-Sisi,” Mansour told the supporters, referring to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. “I thank all the free people in the world,” as well as “the honest, honorable judges of Germany.”

Mansour, 52, was detained on Saturday at Berlin’s Tegel airport as he tried to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha. A dual Egyptian-British citizen, he was convicted in absentia in Egypt on charges that his lawyers and reporters’ groups call politically motivated.

Berlin prosecutors decided Monday afternoon to free Mansour, and said he could leave the country whenever he wanted. The decision came after examining details of the Egyptian case and also taking into account “political and diplomatic concerns” as discussed with Berlin state and federal authorities, spokesman Martin Steltner said in a statement.

“After the evaluation, the concerns over agreeing to extradition couldn’t be dispelled despite assurances from Egypt,” he said.

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