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Middle East

UAE to try 94 over 'plot to seize power'

Authorities say the suspects were secretly plotting to seize power in the Gulf state.
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2013 20:52
People in Egypt have campaigned for the release of dozens of Emiratis arrested last year [AP]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered the trial of 94 people on charges of secretly plotting to take over the country and seize power.

"Their unannounced aims were to seize power and confronting the main principles which the rule is based on," state news agency WAM quoted the attorney general, Salem Saeed Kubaish, as saying on Sunday.

"They had plotted for that discreetly at secret meetings they held in their homes, farms and other places where they tried to conceal and hide what they were plotting from the concerned authorities."

The UAE last year rounded up about 60 people, many members of al-Islah, a group suspected of links to the Muslim Brotherhood which is banned in the country, according to a privately owned newspaper.

Al-Khaleej newspaper said in September the detained group had confessed to setting up a secret organisation with an armed wing with the aim of seizing power and establishing an Islamist state in the UAE.

Kubaish said the suspects used social media and the Internet with the aim of creating a public opinion hostile to the UAE government and its leadership.

"They also communicated with the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation and other similar organisations outside the country, asked them for help, expertise and financial support to serve their undeclared goal of seizing power," the statement said.

Al-Islah says its mission was to advocate peaceful reform and it has no connections with the global Muslim Brotherhood.

The UAE, a major oil exporter and Middle East business hub, tolerates no organised political opposition.

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