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Egyptian court to deliver Greste verdict next Monday -

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CHRIS UHLMANN: A verdict will be delivered next Monday in the case against Australian journalist Peter Greste.

The Al Jazeera correspondent faced his twelfth hearing overnight in Cairo, where he's charged with tarnishing Egypt's reputation and aiding a terrorist group.

Middle East correspondent Hayden Cooper reports from Cairo.

(Sound of a gavel pounding)

HAYDEN COOPER: As each hearing begins Peter Greste, Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy look a little more weary.

Today they also looked tense, because the verdict in this case is getting close, and they fear what the judge might deliver.

And from the defendant's cage, they call out in desperation.

MOHAMMED FAHMY (speaking over court noise): We hope that they really get us out of here as soon as possible because we are really tired of being in that prison.

There's nothing harder than being in prison knowing that you are innocent; that's the hardest part of being in prison. I know you all identify with us; your support in this case is something that really keeps us going.

HAYDEN COOPER: At the penultimate session, defence lawyers for the students on trial alongside the journalists gave their final summaries.

One complained of torture inside Tora Prison.

(Sound of defence lawyer giving concluding statement)

Al Jazeera producer and bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy was allowed to address the judge directly; he pleaded for a quick and fair decision.

MOHAMMED FAHMY: All the lawyers today made it very clear that we all, that this court is a political case; we are political prisoners.

HAYDEN COOPER: And so finally, after six months, it seems this soul-destroying and pointless trial is at an end.

Wearing his customary sunglasses, the judge adjourned the case until next Monday, when his verdict will be delivered.

Peter Greste's brother Mike was relieved.

MIKE GRESTE: I view it as good news, yeah. You know, there were whispers that the judge might be pushing adjournment out for a bit longer than that, so a week in my view is... Look, it's not ideal. We'd love a verdict tomorrow, or even today, but, you know, that's not to be.

But, you know, a week is... is workable, I suppose.

HAYDEN COOPER: There's still a serious threat of a jail term for the three journalists. The prosecution wants 15 years.

So the families are wary ahead of next week's ruling.

But Adel Fahmy, brother of Mohammed, looks at it differently; he expected a longer delay.

ADEL FAHMY: I think it's an excellent indication. I've asked around all the lawyers inside; they told me they would never have it that soon if it was unfavourable or negative.

HAYDEN COOPER: There was good news also for Abdullah Elshamy, the Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent in jail in Egypt since last August and on a hunger strike for almost five months.

The prosecutor general has ordered his release from prison on health grounds.

This is Hayden Cooper in Cairo for AM.