Case against Muslim Brotherhood adjourned to 20 November

MENA, Tuesday 9 Oct 2012

Supreme Administrative Court postpones case calling for dissolution of the Islamist group; Brotherhood lawyers argue organisation has not violated NGO law as financial papers submitted

The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) adjourned, Tuesday, a case questioning the legal status of the Muslim Brotherhood, to 20 November.

The court is currently looking into five separate lawsuits all calling for the Islamist group's dissolution, which it had previously merged in one case.

Shehata Mohamed Shehata, the lawyer who filed the initial lawsuit, argued that the Brotherhood failed to abide by a 2002 law governing non-governmental organistations which forbids religious-based groups from participating in political activity. The penalty for failing to abide by the law is the dissolution of the group.

Shehata claimed that the Brotherhood had been engaged in politics and the provision of social services since the 1930s despite being officially banned since 1954.

The court demanded an official memorandum by the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs to decide whether the Brotherhood is a civic association and therefore subject to supervision by the ministry.  
The group's legal status has been a matter of contention for several years. A number of political figures called for the group to legalise its status and register with the state,so that its funding and activities can be monitored.

During Tuesday's hearing, Brotherhood lawyers Ahmed Abu-Baraka and Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud argued that the Islamist group was banned because of the former regime's oppressive policies. They added that the Brotherhood has not violated the NGO laws as all the necessary financial papers are available and have been submitted to court.  

The case had been referred to the State Litigation Authority, a legal body which represents the state, who were expected to provide their input on lawsuit. However members are currently on strike, objecting to the Constituent Assembly's rejection of their proposal to be integrated into the judicial system, further delaying the case.

President Mohamed Morsi is a long-term member of the Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and most prominent Islamist movement. The Freedom and Justice Party, which secured the largest number of seats in the first post-revolution parliamentary elections, is the group's political wing.

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