Prominent Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour has thanked German authorities for his release from a Berlin prison, two days after he was detained at Egypt's request. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour says he's grateful to the German government for his freedom. He's been sentenced in absentia in Egypt for torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square during the political tumult of 2011. He denies the charges. But as he tried to board a flight in Berlin over the weekend, Mansour was detained for an extradition hearing at Cairo's request. He spent two days inside a Berlin prison... but then was told he was free to go. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AL JAZEERA JOURNALIST, AHMED MANSOUR, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL GERMAN TRANSLATION): "I would especially like to thank the attorney general. I would like to thank him for resisting all the pressure which was directed against me." The Berlin prosecutor's office says Mansour was released because Egypt was unable to dispel concerns about the extradition process and because he may have faced the death penalty on his return. Mansour was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison but both he and his employer accuse Egyptian authorities of waging a vendetta against Al Jazeera for its reporting... and a war on journalists in general.