Taoiseach speaks to Egyptian president after verdict in trial of Irishman postponed for three weeks
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi this evening after the trail of an Irishman detained in Egypt was further delayed.
Ibrahim Halawa has been imprisoned in Egypt for the past four years.
He was arrested along with hundreds of other individuals during 2013 protests against the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.
His trial, where he is being tried in mass proceedings, have been delayed or postponed a number of times, however there was much anticipation among Irish officials for the verdict today.
There was no reason given today for the postponing of the trial verdict.
It is expected the young man will be returned to Ireland within weeks of the verdict being handed down.
This evening the Taoiseach spoke with the Egyptian president by phone and discussed the case.
According to a statement Mr Varadkar "expressed his disappointment at the further adjournment of the trial at today’s hearing, until 18 September" during a 25-minute phone call.
"He made clear to President Al-Sisi that his priority was to secure the return of Ibrahim Halawa to Ireland as soon as possible," the statement said.
"President Al-Sisi emphasised that his Government could not interfere in a judicial process but gave the Taoiseach his word that he would resolve the matter swiftly within the Egyptian constitutional and legal framework once the trial concludes and the verdict is known."
Meanwhile, in an earlier statement released by the family, Somaia Halawa, sister of Ibrahim Halawa said; "It is truly upsetting and heart-breaking to constantly keep having our expectations and hopes shattered into a million pieces.
"It is not just Ibrahim’s life that is being played around with but also the entire family’s life. We would ask that our family are allowed some time to ourselves during this difficult period."