Egypt court postpones anti-Brotherhood case

Ahram Online, Sunday 2 Sep 2012

Lawsuit questioning legality of Muslim Brotherhood adjourned for second time to 9 October, after appeals lodged at Cairo's High Administrative Court

A street vendor sells poster of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tahrir (Photo: Reuters)

Cairo's High Administrative Court postponed a lawsuit Sunday calling for the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood to 9 October to look into appeals filed by the Islamist organisation. The claimants also pushed for the delay in order to provide further documentation to bolster their case.

The court launched the hearings on 19 June but postponed the case as further plaintiffs joined the lawsuit against the Brotherhood.

Muslim Brotherhood members were noticeably absent from the second session, which was held on Sunday. Only the organisation's lawyers, such as Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, were present at court.

Also in attendance were those who filed the complaints including lawyer Shehata Ahmed Shehata and liberal MP Hamdi El-Fakhrani, well known for his lawsuits against cases of illegal state land acquisition.

Shehata initially bought the case against the Islamist organisation, claiming that the Brotherhood had been unlawfully engaging in social and political activities for the last 80 years, despite being officially banned as a political organisation in 1954.

He also accused the Brotherhood of failing to abide by a 2002 law governing the functions of non-governmental organisations, which prohibits such groups operating as religious-based political parties.  The penalty for a group failing to abide by the law, according to Shehata, is its dissolution.

In addition, Shehata is also calling for the closure of the Brotherhood's headquarters and the freezing of its bank accounts.

Shehata is head of the Egyptian Centre for Integrity and Transparency. He was involved in the legal case that led to the dissolution of Egypt's first constituent assembly.

The administrative court is also scheduled to rule Monday on a case calling for the suspension of the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

The lawsuit is based on the party's alleged use of religious slogans, an illegal practice for any political group under Egyptian law.

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