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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

Government considering sending its private jet to bring Ibrahim Halawa home

Ibrahim Halawa was acquitted by a court in Egypt yesterday.

THE GOVERNMENT IS considering sending its private jet to bring Ibrahim Halawa back to Ireland.

Halawa (21), an Irish citizen, was found innocent yesterday after spending four years in an Egyptian prison. It’s understood the Dubliner could be home “in a matter of days”.

“We are looking at the best way to bring him home,” said a government spokesperson, stating that officials want to ensure a “swift and smooth transit” back to Ireland.

Halawa was arrested during a protest in 2013 in support of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who had been ousted from power in a military coup.

The hearing of Halawa’s case was delayed 28 times before his legal team finally had a chance to defend him in court in early August.

Though Halawa’s acquittal was not discussed at Cabinet today, it’s understood the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minster for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney have discussed how best to bring him back to Ireland.

It’s understood the Ministerial Air Transport Service is being considered as the best possible option. The private jet is generally used to transport the Taoiseach and ministers to meetings in Europe.

It’s understood officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs are “keeping a very close brief on the matter” on an hourly basis.

Though the Taoiseach spoke to the President of Egypt for nearly 25 minutes on the phone last month about the Halawa case, the government insisted that “no deal” was done between the two countries.

A government spokesperson said the issue was raised repeatedly “in an unprecedented manner by officials in the department”, adding that the Irish government is “very pleased” with the outcome.

Read: Leo Varadkar speaks for 25 minutes with Egyptian president regarding Ibrahim Halawa>

Read: Ibrahim Halawa could be home ‘within days’ after being found not guilty in Egypt>

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