Egypt court upholds Muslim Brotherhood ban

Lawyer says group will appeal against September 23 ruling which had also ordered its assets to be confiscated.

    Wednesday's verdict came a day after deposed President Morsi's trial began in Cairo [Reuters]
    Wednesday's verdict came a day after deposed President Morsi's trial began in Cairo [Reuters]

    An Egyptian court has upheld a ruling that banned the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its assets confiscated.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and most influential Islamist group, was banned in September after President Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the army following mass protests against his government on July 3.

    Osama el-Helw, a Brotherhood lawyer, said the group will appeal the ruling, which was reported by the state MENA news agency.

    In the initial September 23 verdict, the court ordered the Brotherhood's assets seized until criminal courts delivered their verdicts in the ongoing trials of the group's leaders and members.

    Egypt's military-backed authorities have formed a committee to review the Muslim Brotherhood assets, but have not moved against its finances until the verdict is final.

    The leftist Tagammu party had issued a counter suit asking the court to dismiss the Brotherhood's motion.

    Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Cairo, said: "We have been speaking to charities that are affiliated with the organization who say that over the past couple of months, things have gotten very difficult for them indeed, and their donations have all but totally dried up. But now we will see things get even tougher for the Muslim Brotherhood as a financial entity and as a political entity too."

    Many Muslim Brotherhood figures and allies - including Mohamed el-Beltagy, Essam el-Erian and Morsi himself - face charges in connection to clashes last December outside the presidential palace that left at least 10 people dead.

    On Monday, Morsi's trial on charges of inciting violence and murder in the deaths began.

    The case was quickly adjourned, however, after Morsi refused to wear the prison uniform, said he would defend himself, rejected the legitimacy of the court and insisted he was the president of Egypt.

    His case was postponed until January 8. This marked Morsi's first public appearance since his overthrow.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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