IRELAND’S Minister for Foreign Affairs has said that the government is “hopeful and confident” that Ibrahim Halawa will be home this week after four years in an Egyptian jail.
Simon Coveney said that Mr Halawa, who was born and raised in Dublin, should be home by the middle of this week after his acquittal last Monday.
Halawa, 21, was acquitted of all charges relating to anti-government protests in Cairo in 2013.
He stood accused along with 500 others, including his three sisters, of inciting violence, riot and sabotage.
Mr Halawa's siblings were released after around three months of detention in Egypt and were allowed to return home to Dublin, but he remained in prison.
All four, including his three sisters tried in absentia, were cleared by a Cairo court.
Ibrahim Halawa, moments after his acquittal. He jumped with joy, hugged fellow prisoners and had tears in his eyes. pic.twitter.com/P40IjYQLHK
— Declan Walsh (@declanwalsh) September 18, 2017
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Simon Coveney explained that in order for a prisoner in Egypt to be released, the prosecutor’s office must formally inform the prison office.
Mr Coveney said he understood that such a letter has been drafted and that he hoped to receive a copy of it today.
He said that once Mr Halawa has been transferred from the prison service to the security directorate, his return to Ireland should follow quickly.
"Once he moves from the prison service to the security directorate, the rest will happen very quickly - that's what we're told,” Mr Coveney said.
“And we're hoping that that may happen as soon as later on today.
“So I would be very hopeful and confident that we would see Ibrahim home before the middle of the week."