Muslim Brotherhood leader El-Gazzar released on bail

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Aug 2014

Helmy El-Gazzar, a senior leader of the Brotherhood's now-defunct political party, released along with an ex-MP and a lawyer for the group

Helmy El-Gazzar
Muslim Brotherhood leader Helmy El-Gazzar (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official has been released over violence charges dating back to last summer's nationwide unrest, a judicial source told Ahram Online.

Helmy El-Gazzar, a senior leader within the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, was released late on Saturday on bail of LE100,000 (about $14,000) pending investigations into charges including murder, attempted murder and thuggery.

The allegations stem from violence on 2 July 2013 in the western Cairo district of Bin El-Sarayat, when clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi left almost two dozen killed and some 220 wounded.

The violence was part of days-long mass protests that summer that culminated with Morsi's overthrow by the army on 3 July.

Once Egypt's largest and most organised political movements, the Brotherhood has been hammered by a harsh state crackdown Morsi's ouster. The group was declared a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was dissolved earlier this month.

Also released alongside El-Gazzar over the same allegations were Mohamed El-Omda, former MP under Morsi, and Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud, the Brotherhood's lawyer.

El-Omda was already out of prison late on Saturday and Abdel-Maksoud is expected to walk free on Sunday, a judicial source said.
Hundreds of other Islamists have been killed and thousands jailed since Morsi's overthrow.

Morsi himself and much of the group's upper echelons are embroiled in multiple court cases over charges including murder.

At the same time, militant attacks by Sinai-based fighters have surged since Morsi was removed. The violence has killed over 500 police and soldiers, with civilian casualties reported as well.

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