Egyptian Officials Order Release of Drexel Student, 2 Others: Attorney

The three American students were arrested earlier this week during anti-government protests

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 11:37 PM EDT
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NBC Philadelphia - Rosemary Connors

Theodore "Ted" Simon talks about his conversation with Drexel University student Gregory Porter, who is jailed in Egypt.

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A panel of judges has ordered the release of a Drexel University student jailed in Egypt following civil unrest inside the Middle Eastern nation.

Gregory Porter, 19, was arrested in Cairo Monday for allegedly setting off Molotov cocktails against security forces during an anti-government protest near Tahrir Square. Derrik Sweeney, a 19-year-old Georgetown University student, and 21-year-old Indiana University student Luke Gates were also taken into custody.

Porter, a native of Glenside, Montgomery County, Pa., is a 2010 graduate of LaSalle College High School. He had been studying abroad at the American University in Cairo when the arrest took place.

The teen’s attorney Theodore “Ted” Simon tells NBC10 the panel of judges ordered the release despite a motion from Egyptian prosecutors for further detention. Government officials decided not to appeal the release.

Simon, the high-profile Philadelphia attorney who helped acquit American student Amanda Knox of murder charges in Italy, says he and his Egyptian counterpart are now working on getting Porter freed.

“We’re in the process of taking every possible step to secure their release at the earliest possible time," he told NBC10's Rosemary Connors Thursday night. 

Simon says he was able to speak to Porter over the phone after the release ruling.

“Greg and I had a wonderful call. He’s a really fine young man," the attorney said. "He first was extremely thankful and very appreciative of all of our efforts to secure his release. He demonstrated his incredible appreciation for his parents and their unconditional love and support for him."

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