Cairo: Egypt has charged five leading members
of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, including a Saudi cleric,
with money laundering and fund raising abroad for the group.
Only one is currently in custody, the rest, including the
Saudi, were charged in absentia.
It is the first time a foreigner has been charged, in an
apparent escalation of the government`s crackdown against the
group ahead of this year`s legislative elections.
Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud today referred
the five to a State Security Emergency court, an exceptional
court whose rulings cannot be appealed.
Though banned, the 80-year old group has renounced
violence and is somewhat tolerated by the state.
Its members can run for elections as independents.