Egyptian trial against NGO's postponed to 2 December
The infamous trial against foreign and local NGO workers accused of politically-motivated dealings through illicit foreign funding is rescheduled for 2 December
Ahram Online, Saturday 3 Nov 2012
File photo: Former secession from the NGO triel (Photo AP)
The Cairo criminal court postpones to 2 December the next hearing in the trial of a number of US and local rights organisations accused of receiving illegitimate funds.
In Saturday's hearing the prosecution's representative accused the defendants of defrauding the Egyptian people. He concluded his remarks by imploring the court to apply the "harshest punishment" on the accused.
The trial involves 43 Egyptian and foreign (mostly US) rights workers accused of operating illegally and carrying out political activities that are not related to their field of work.
In an abrupt move on 29 December, officials from Egypt’s public prosecution office, backed by police and military personnel, raided and closed the Cairo offices of at least five NGOs. Local rights workers were shocked and called it an unprecedented attack.
The raids followed a spate of recent allegations by the government that several NGOs, as well as a handful of recently established political parties, operating in Egypt had received illicit, unregistered funding from abroad.
The trial began in February and has precipitated in an unusual confrontation between Cairo and Washington due to the involvement of a number of US organisations in the case.