53 Brotherhood loyalists stand trial in Egypt over policeman murder

Cairo, Sep 6 (IANS) The Egyptian prosecution referred 53 members and loyalists of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to military trial over the murder of a police officer earlier this year.

The defendants include leading Brotherhood members Mahmoud Gozlan and Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Barr, as well as well-known cleric Youssef al-Qaradai, who are currently fleeing and being tried in absentia, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The case dates back to April 2015 when Colonel Wael Tahon and his driver were shot dead outside his home in Matariya district in Cairo by two gunmen riding a motorbike.

The defendants, 35 of whom are arrested, are charged with forming terrorist cells targeting personnel and premises of the police, the military and the judiciary to destabilize the country and with involvement in the assassination of the colonel.

The investigations concluded that Brotherhood leading figures coordinated with “extremist religious groups and some leftist ones” inside and outside Egypt to target and terrorize the country’ s institutions.

The prosecution referred 61 Brotherhood members and supporters in late May and 198 others in mid-July to military trial over similar charges.

Egypt’s newest constitution allows military trial for civilians in crimes related to assaulting military institutions or those under its protection.

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