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Peter Greste still in danger of being charged with terrorism in Egypt -

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PETER LLOYD: The freed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste says he is still in danger of being convicted on terrorism charges in Egypt.

Greste was deported on the orders of the country's president back in February at the point where he and two other Al Jazeera journalists were about to await a retrial.

Their first convictions had been overturned on appeal.

Two weeks ago, the judge hearing the new trial declared Peter Greste had to appear in person before the court or be considered on trial in absentia.

Peter joins me now from Al Jazeera's studios in London, good evening Peter.

PETER GRESTE: Good evening Peter.

PETER LLOYD: Now listeners may be considered a little bit confused here. Your deportation, many may have thought, signalled the end of Egypt's interest in you.

PETER GRESTE: Yeah I think that's the way it looked for a lot of people but the fact is that I'm still on trial. I was quite surprised, a lot of people were surprised when the re-trial started again and my name was called as a defendant. Now, look, I've been on the books ever since.

We weren't quite sure technically whether I was on trial in absentia or whether I was considered legally represented because my lawyer was there and allowed to appear, allowed to be in court.

But at the last hearing, as you just mentioned, the judge ordered that I re-appear or as he said be considered on trial in absentia and that means that I will get a conviction by default if we can't do something to convince the judge that there is no reason for me to be there, that they should really be taking me off the books and that's why I want to appear by video link.

PETER LLOYD: Alright, we'll get to the consequences potentially next, but firstly let's take us back to February, to that moment when you left Egypt. Was it your belief that the case against you had been effectively dismissed?

PETER GRESTE: That's what I'd hoped for. I mean I didn't quite know where things were going. This wasn't, I was deported on order of the president and of course and the president isn't the same as the court, and so yeah, I mean it certainly seemed that way. That's what we were celebrating. But it did come as quite a surprise when we followed the court proceedings and discovered that I am still a named defendant.

PETER LLOYD: How well documented was your deportation? Was there a stated reason and was there anything in any paperwork that suggested what the fate of that court case and your involvement in it was?

PETER GRESTE: No is the short answer. There wasn't any paperwork. The only document that we signed was a piece of paper saying that I was being released in good health and with all of my things.

There was no file, there was no evidence file, there was no letter that I carried or that the consular officers who took me out of prison carried, and so we're kind of left in this legal limbo and the court certainly hasn't received anything from the Egyptian government and they haven't received anything from the Australian Government, so as far as the judge is concerned, he's got no paperwork to stick in the file that can explain why I was removed from the case.

PETER LLOYD: So presumably this is a legal catch-22. You're not welcome back in Egypt says the president. You're welcome back in Egypt says the judge, and you're offering to go on video link as the compromise.

PETER GRESTE: Yeah exactly. I need to show the court that I'm not on the run. I'm not in Egypt because I'm trying to escape justice. I'm not there because the president ordered me out and so the only solution that I can think of to give the judge what he needs to prove, to give the opportunity to give my evidence, to appear before the court is by video link.

Now the Australian, the Attorney General's office has agreed to help to see if we can sort out the technology and the kind of formal legal aspect at this end, we just need the court in Egypt to agree to this.

PETER LLOYD: Perhaps it's self evident but let's just make it clear: you don't consider at any point that you would go back, would you?

PETER GRESTE: Look, I've thought about it but I think, you know, it's a pretty difficult thing to do. As I said, given the fact that I was ordered out by the president, and I don't really see that coming back is an option at this point.

PETER LLOYD: Do you worry that not going back will be seen by the judge as a sign of contempt for his court and that may mean a dimmer view is taken of your Egyptian national colleague who's still there?

PETER GRESTE: Look I really don't know, I can't speak for the judge. All I'm trying to do is come up with a solution that I think will work for everybody. The government, you know, the president ordered me out. I don't see that going back or defying that order is an option at this point and yet the judge clearly is demanding that I do come back. The only alternative I can think of at this point is this idea of a video link.

I just need to do something that can get around this problem because I think the last thing that I want is a conviction on a technicality. I don't think the court or the Egyptian government wants that either to be honest with you. If there's no evidence that we did anything, and there is no evidence, then I think we need to do everything we can to, you know, to prove the court justification for throwing the case out.

PETER LLOYD: And apart from general stigma that would be coming with a terror conviction anywhere, even in absentia, do you have any concerns about how it may impinge on your ability to work as a journalist in those parts of the world that may perhaps give a higher regard to an Egyptian ruling?

PETER GRESTE: Look there are two things that I'm really concerned about. Obviously at a personal level the last thing I want is a terrorism conviction hanging over my head. I don't want a criminal record, period, particularly one that's completely unjustified.

But equally I'm conscious of the fact that so many of the people who supported us, so many of the millions of people who tweeted and facebooked and came out in protest for us, came out partly because of our personal situation but also because I think we came to stand for something quite important, the higher principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, as the rule of law and so on. And so I feel that we really need to keep going with this fight as much to defend those higher principles as to defend ourselves. So this is a fight on both those levels.

PETER LLOYD: Alright Peter we're out of time. Thank you very much. That's Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste speaking there live from London.