Egypt's top prosecutor Nabil Sadek has referred Muslim Brotherhood businessman Hassan Malek and his son to an emergency state security court on charges from 2015 including belonging to and financing the now-banned group, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.
Twenty-two other co-defendants, including Abdel-Rahman Saudi, also a well-known businessman and member of the banned group, were referred to the High State Security Emergency Criminal Court on the same charges, which also include attempting to topple the regime, assaulting police and army personnel and harming the national economy.
The defendants in the case include 13 individuals who are at large.
The prosecution said that Brotherhood material detailing plots to harm the national economy were found at Malek's house.
Malek has been jailed since he was arrested in October 2015 pending investigations into charges of collecting foreign currency from the Egyptian market and smuggling it abroad with the aim of harming the national economy.
His assets have been frozen since September 2014.
Last week, Malek completed the maximum period of two years allowed by Egyptian law for detention with trial.
Prosecutors can refer criminal cases to an emergency court in light of the current state of emergency imposed in the country.
Last month, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree extending the six-month-old state of emergency for another three months.
Egypt first imposed the state of emergency in April after two church bombings killed at least 45 people.
Since the 1990s, Malek has been considered one of the most prominent businessmen affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, along with his business partner and former deputy chairman of the group Khairat El-Shater, who is currently serving jail time for various convictions.
Malek’s commercial and industrial ventures include textile manufacturing, electrical supplies and furniture.
The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organisation by the Egyptian government in November 2013.