The Muslim Brotherhood will take legal action to request reconsideration of military tribunal sentences issued against Khairat al-Shater, the group’s deputy guide, and Hassan Malek, a businessman member of the group, as well as five other leading Brotherhood members.
Shater and 139 other leaders of the group were arrested in December 2006 when Brotherhood students staged demonstrations at Al-Azhar University. They wore black clothes and masks similar to those worn by members of the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah.
In 2007, former President Hosni Mubarak referred Shater and Malek to a military court by presidential decree after they were cleared on charges of money laundering and financing a banned organization (the Brotherhood) by a civilian criminal court.
In 2008 the military court jailed Shater and Malek for seven years. Twenty-three other members of the Brotherhood received various sentences. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces released them in March 2011, weeks after the fall of Mubarak.
“We seek to annul the verdicts in the case known as the ‘Al-Azhar militias’ via legal procedures before the military prosecution,” said the group’s lawyer, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, adding that “a military court is the only body entitled to acquit the defendants.”
Abdel Maqsoud said that the group is also taking similar action with regard to five other leading members sentenced to three to five years imprisonment.
Egypt's stock market announced on Monday that it was ordered by an Egyptian court to unfreeze all the assets owned by Shater and Malek. The court order has allowed them to trade on the stock exchange.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-YoumTags: Hassan Malek, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, Muslim Brotherhood, military court, Khairat al-Shater, Al-Azhar University