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Egypt freezes assets of 132 Brotherhood leaders

Government orders freeze on assets of Muslim Brotherhood guidance bureau and NGO members, says its lawyer Hassan Saleh

Sayed Gamal El-Din, Ahram Online, Friday 27 Dec 2013
Muslim Brotherhood headquarters
A protester waves an Egyptian national flag as others ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqatam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo)
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Egypt's government ordered a freeze on the assets of all members of the Muslim Brotherhood guidance bureau and its linked NGO, Hassan Saleh, the lawyer of the Islamist organisation, told Ahram Online on Friday.
 
A total of 132 Brotherhood leaders saw their assets frozen in execution of a judicial ruling to ban all their activities and takeover their assets, Ezzat Khamis, assistant to the minister of justice, announced in a press conference on Thursday.
 
Neither the exact value of the confiscated assets nor the names were declared in the conference.
 
"We requested for the court to allow us to demand a statement showing the value of the money that has been frozen, but the court turned down our request," said Saleh.
 
The court ruling to ban all Muslim Brotherhood activities and confiscate their assets was reached back in September for which a committee was created to run those assets.
 
The sustenance of this verdict depends on the results of another investigation that is currently underway on criminal charges to the Muslim Brotherhood, including threats to national security and disturbance to public security.
 
The committee in charge of executing the ruling also froze the assets of 1,054 NGOs believed to be controlled by the Brotherhood. These assets include cars and agricultural land as well as privately owned shares in companies listed in the stock market, added Khamis.
 
Two legal actions have been filed on the ruling at the administrative court and at the South Cairo court, which remain unsolved. In addition, a challenge to the ruling was filed at the court for urgent matters.
 
"The Brotherhood was not a party in the court case which was filed by Al-Tagammu, the leftist party against the president and the prime minister and in favour of banning the Brotherhood. Hence, as the verdict influences us, we are legally entitled to defend ourselves," said Saleh.
 
On Wednesday, Egypt's interim government officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation.” Some experts hailed the decision as problematic, explaining that the PM does not have the legal authority to make such a conclusion.
 
Two days earlier, Al-Ahram daily had reported that the central bank froze the bank accounts of 1,055 NGOs. However, an anonymous senior official at the bank said that some, not all, of those are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. 
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