The brother of Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian journalist imprisoned in Cairo, says that his brother's World Press Freedom Award 'couldn't have come at a better time."

"It was certainly very optimistic for Mohamed," Adel Fahmy told CBC News on Saturday. "[The award] serves many purposes."

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom recognized the Al-Jazeera English producer at a luncheon in Ottawa on Friday.

Fahmy and two colleagues, his Al-Jazeera English co-workers, Baher Mohammed and Australian Peter Greste, were arrested in December and face terrorism-related charges. They are on trial along with 17 others.

Adel says the prize reasserts his brother's defence that he has credibility as a professional journalist.

"It also puts more pressure on the judge."

The journalists are accused of providing a platform to the Muslim Brotherhood group of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, which the government has declared a terrorist organization.

Mideast Egypt Al Jazeera

Al-Jazeera English bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, left, producer Baher Mohamed, centre and correspondent Peter Greste, right, asked a Cairo judge to set them free. (Associated Press)

On Saturday, a judge adjourned the trial until May 15 and the judge has again refused the defendants bail.

Adel says his brother was allowed to come out of his holding cage for the first time at his court appearance on Saturday.

"It was a generous gesture by the judge to allow Mohamed enough time to testify and clarify key points," noted Adel, who said his brother explained "objective journalism" to the judge and that he and his two colleagues were award-winning journalists.

When asked about his brother's physical condition, Adel says Mohamed does get physical therapy for a fractured shoulder which he had injured prior to his arrest.

"They're not even regular and they're frequently interrupted and they're not sufficient for such a substantial injury so it's not improving at all."

Adel also said the family was appreciative of the work being done by Canada's foreign affairs staff and Minister John Baird.

With files from The Canadian Press