Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste of Australia stands in a metal cage during his trial in a court in Cairo
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste of Australia stands in a metal cage during his trial in a court in Cairo March 24, 2014. Greste along with Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohammed have been granted a retrial.REUTERS

Egypt's top court has ordered the retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists who were convicted of supporting banned outfit Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to 10 years.

The three journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were arrested in December 2013 for "publishing false news about Egypt" in support of Muslim Brotherhood.

The outfit, a religious group active in politics, was banned in Egypt and labelled a terrorist organisation after the country's first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013.

The trio had appealed for a retrial.

Australian Greste and Canadian-Egyptian Fahmy, who were sentenced to seven years in prison and Egyptian Mohamed who was given a 10-year jail term, have been granted retrial after the completion of one year in detention, Al Jazeera reported.

Greste's lawyer Amr Al-Deeb said, "The Court of Cassation has accepted their appeal and ordered a retrial." 

Egyptian authorities did not comment on the ruling.

The hearing, which lasted half-an-hour, failed to satisfy the family members of the three journalists. "We have learned in the past that this is not over until he is out and it looks like we have a long road ahead of us," said Greste's brothers Mike and Andrew.

"I hoped for more today," said Adel Fahmy, brother of Fadel. Meanwhile, Jehan Rashed, Baher Mohammed's wife, considers the ruling for retrial a "small, but positive step" towards freeing her husband.

Al Jazeera has repeatedly expressed anger over the unlawful imprisonment of the journalists. The news agency's spokesperson said, "The Egyptian authorities have a simple choice – free these men quickly, or continue to string this out, all the while continuing this injustice and harming the image of their own country in the eyes of the world. They should choose the former."

Convictions against six more Al-Jazeera journalists who were tried and charged are yet to be dealt with.