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Al-Jazeera journalist Greste heads home to Australia

AFP , Wednesday 4 Feb 2015
Peter Greste
Australian Journalist Peter Greste on a beach in Cyprus after being deported from Egypt (Photo: Courtesy of Greste`s twitter account)
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Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste headed home to Australia on Wednesday, a family spokeswoman said, following his release from an Egyptian jail where he was held for more than 400 days.

Greste was arrested for allegedly aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, along with Al-Jazeera colleagues Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed of Egypt.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said Greste had told them from Larnaca airport that he was "elated" to be going home but was concerned about his Al-Jazeera colleagues still behind bars.

His colleagues remained behind in an Egyptian prison, though Fahmy's family said Tuesday he had renounced his Egyptian citizenship in a bid to pave the way for his release.

"Special thanks to all who've supported us over the past year. MUST NOT FORGET THOSE STILL IN PRISON," Greste wrote in another tweet.

The 49-year-old also posted a picture of himself standing with his feet in the sea, giving the victory sign, writing: "Free in Cyprus! Feels sweet. Peter back online for first time in 400+ days."

The news of Greste's imminent arrival came as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he had spoken with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overnight and thanked him for his efforts to release the journalist.

A statement from the prime minister's office said that Abbott had "expressed hope that Mr. Greste's colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed might be released soon".

Greste was to hold a press conference later Thursday with his parents Lois and Juris and brothers Andrew and Mike.

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