An Al-Jazeera English journalist released after over a year in Egyptian prisons says he is optimistic he will be exonerated from terrorism-related charges during his retrial, which begins next week.

Baher Mohammed was initially sentenced to 10 years before an appeals court overturned the ruling and ordered a retrial for him and colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste. Greste, an Australian, was deported home on Feb. 1. Mohammed and Fahmy were released Friday pending a retrial.

Mohammed told The Associated Press Tuesday he learned to minimize his expectations during the course of the first trial, described as a sham by rights groups. However, he was still hopeful that the new judges would free him based on the appeals court finding that evidence was flawed.