An Algerian court on Thursday scrapped a seven-year jail sentence for a blogger accused of providing intelligence to foreign governments, his lawyer said, according to AFP.

Merzoug Touati, who was arrested in January 2017 after an online video interview with an Israeli official, remains behind bars pending a new trial, lawyer Salah Dabouz added.

Dabouz said the case had been returned to the appeals court in the eastern city of Skikda, with the date of the hearing still to be set.

The lawyer warned that a fresh trial could end up seeing Touati, 30, being given a heftier sentence.

"It's a sensitive case, I have a lot of fears," Dabouz said.

Touati was initially handed a 10-year sentence in May of 2018, but that was cut to seven years following an appeal.

In addition to conducting an interview with a foreign ministry spokesman from the Jewish state, Touati in a Facebook post called for protests against a new financial law in Algeria prior to his arrest.

Rights groups have condemned the case against Touati, with Amnesty International saying he was being persecuted "solely for expressing his peaceful opinion online".

Algeria, like many Muslim states, does not have relations with Israel. In April of 2018, an Algerian court sentenced eight people to 10 years in prison over espionage for Israel.

The eight were arrested in an operation carried out by the Algerian police in 2015 in the city of Ghardaia, 600 kilometers south of Algiers, and were allegedly found with documents and communications equipment related to espionage for Israel.

In January of 2017, Algeria claimed it uncovered an international spy network made up of 10 members that was operating for Israel and was based in southern Algeria.