A former Al-Jazeera journalist who was released from prison in Egypt last month says Canada's prime minister betrayed and abandoned him.

Fahmy, a Canadian, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper delegated his responsibility to people who lacked the clout to get him released.

He spoke at a news conference Tuesday, two days after returning to Canada.

Fahmy was arrested in 2013 with two Al-Jazeera English colleagues. He was sentenced to three years in prison in a retrial this year for airing what a court described as "false news" and coverage biased in favor of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. The case was widely condemned, and Fahmy and his Egyptian co-defendant received a presidential pardon last month.

Fahmy's two-year ordeal raised questions about Egypt's commitment to free speech and whether Canada's government did enough for him.