Egyptian Muslim brotherhood Shura council members gather outside the new Muslim brotherhood headquarters in Cairo, April, 2011 (Photo: AP/Khalil Hamra)
Cairo’s High Administrative Court has adjourned until 1 September a lawsuit calling for the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The court also adjourned until 4 September a separate lawsuit looking into whether the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, will be dissolved on the grounds of violating laws that ban the formation of political parties on a religious basis.
The lawyer who brought the case against the Brotherhood to court, Shehata Mohamed Shehata, claims the country's largest Islamist group has illegally engaged in both political activities and the provision of social services since the 1930's despite being an officially banned political organisation since 1954.
Shehata says the Brotherhood has failed to abide by a 2002 law governing the functions of non-governmental organisations, which forbids such groups operating as religious-based political parties. The penalty for failing to abide by the law, claims Shehata, is dissolution of the group.
The move is a further challenge to the Brotherhood after Thursday's decision by the High Constitutional Court to dissolve the People's Assembly, which was largely dominated by the group's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, because the parliamentary election law which regulated the legislative poll was deemed unconstitutional.
Moreover, an addendum to the constitutional declaration was also issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) limiting the authorities of the coming president, which is expected to be the Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi. According to unofficial election results Morsi received 51.89 per cent of the vote. Official results are expected on Thursday.
Shehata is also calling for the closure of the group's headquarters and the freezing of its bank accounts.
Shehata Mohamed Shehata is a lawyer and head of the Egyptian Centre for Integrity and Transparency. He was involved in the case that led to the dissolution of the first consituent assembly in April 2012.