Middle East

Obama presses Greste's case

Egypt has adjourned the retrial of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste and two of his colleagues. (AAP)

Australian journalist Peter Greste says the US president is in his corner, as he fights to have terror charges against him in Egypt dropped.

Australian journalist Peter Greste says he's found an ally in the US president, who's asked Egypt to abandon terror charges against him and his colleagues.

Mr Greste has revealed he met with Barack Obama at a private reception in May, when he was being honoured at the White House Correspondent Association Dinner.

"He said they were really, really concerned about the case, and that he mentions it to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi every time he speaks to him," Mr Greste told AAP on Friday.

"He said they recognised the significance of the case and they know we've still got a fight ahead of us."

Mr Greste and his Al Jazeera colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed are being re-tried in Egypt, with the matter adjourned by a judge in Cairo on Friday morning Australian time to allow defence lawyers more time to deliver their closing arguments.

They are accused of supporting the black-listed Muslim Brotherhood group linked to ousted president Mohamed Morsi in a case that's been widely condemned as politically motivated.

The Australian, who spent 400 days in jail before being deported on the orders of al-Sisi, is at risk of being convicted in absentia. The deportation order means he can't return to Egypt to satisfy a judge's order that he front court.

Mr Greste said he's struggling to overcome the guilt he feels about being home in Australia, while his colleagues are still mired in a legal nightmare in Egypt.

He said he even toyed with the idea of returning there but his legal advisers had told him that was not practical and in fact may be impossible.

"I feel really guilty about not being back with my colleagues. I'm really struggling with the idea that I can't be there to support them."

Top of mind for the Australian at the moment is Sohaip Saad, a student and amateur photographer who was also arrested in December 2013 in relation to the claims against the Al Jazeera journalists. He's now missing.

Mr Greste said he'd never met Mr Saad before they were locked in a cage in a Cairo court all those months ago, accused of involvement in a common crime.

He says he still doesn't understand what Egyptian authorities are claiming about how Mr Saad is linked to Mr Greste's own case, but the fact he wasn't at court hearings in Cairo this week is worrying.

"I shared a cell with him for about six months. He was taken from his home on Monday evening, presumably by security agents and he hasn't been seen since."

The court hearing the matter this week adjourned the case until June 11, leaving Mr Greste to wonder what he can do next to have proceedings against him dropped.

"The judge does not formally recognise I've been deported," he said.

"It now appears I still remain very much part of the trial, despite the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs."

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