Tuesday 21 November 2017

Government could hire private jet to fly freed Ibrahim Halawa home to Ireland

Ibrahim Halawa said his four years in an Egyptian prison had been a
Ibrahim Halawa said his four years in an Egyptian prison had been a "painful journey" and thanked his supporters for standing by him.
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The Government is considering hiring a private jet to fly Ibrahim Halawa home to Ireland as quickly as possible.

Diplomats efforts are underway to ensure a "swift and smooth" journey home for the Dubliner.

Officials could not say how much a jet might cost but it is likely to be tens of thousands of Euro.

A government spokesperson today credited Mr Halawa’s acquittal to the "campaigning and lobbying" by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, from left, Fatima, Omaima and Somaia, celebrate the news their brother had been acquitted, at the family home in Firhouse, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, from left, Fatima, Omaima and Somaia, celebrate the news their brother had been acquitted, at the family home in Firhouse, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

However, he denied that Ireland sought to influence the Egyptian judicial process.

The spokesperson said "no formal deal" was done with the authorities but said Mr Halawa’s case was "raised repeatedly to an unprecedented level".

Ibrahim Halawa celebrates moments after his acquittal of various charges at the Wadi el-Natrun prison outside Cairo yesterday. Photo: Declan Walsh/The New York Times/Redux
Ibrahim Halawa celebrates moments after his acquittal of various charges at the Wadi el-Natrun prison outside Cairo yesterday. Photo: Declan Walsh/The New York Times/Redux

Officials are now engaged in talks with Egyptian diplomats about the quickest way of getting the Dubliner home.

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