10 May 2014

Egypt: Prosecution Refers 200 Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis Members to Criminal Court

Cairo — Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred 200 defendants who belong to the militant Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group to the Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday.

Barakat ordered the detention of 102 defendants and the arrest of 98 others, a statement for the prosecution said.

The prosecution charged the defendants with belonging to a terrorist group, possessing arms and explosives, assaulting the freedoms and rights of citizens, and collaborating with a foreign organisation, which is Hamas, the military wing of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

Of the arrested 102, 60 defendants confessed to embracing extremist ideas and believing that the regime should be changed by force through assaulting army and police installations and forces.

The prosecution's statement also added that following eight months-long investigations and the interrogation of over 800 witnesses, it was proven former President Mohamed Mursi was keeping in touch with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leaders.

According to the statement, Mursi had agreed with the organisation to halt all acts of violence during his rule.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an extremist militant group formed in 2011, has claimed responsibility for several attacks on tourists, Egyptian installations, and Israeli targets.

The U.S. Department of State has officially labeled it a terrorist group and said that it resembles al-Qaeda but is not linked with it.

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