Ahead of Cairo ruling, journalists in Al-Jazeera English trial cross fingers for acquittal

Three journalists on trial in an Egyptian court on terrorism-related charges are awaiting its verdict, hopeful that they will be acquitted after lengthy proceedings criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

On Friday, a day before the verdict, Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera's acting Cairo bureau chief, said he was particularly hopeful because senior Egyptian officials had agreed to meet his lawyer Amal Clooney, in Cairo.

Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed also await the verdict. The three were detained in December 2013 and later sentenced to up to 10 years in prison each, before Egypt's highest court ordered the retrial. Greste was released and deported in February. Fahmy and Mohammed were released on bail days later and remain in Egypt.