43 NGO workers sentenced in Egypt
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced the 43 defendants involved in the foreign funding case to various prison terms.
The defendants include German, Serbian, Norway, Palestine, Jordan, and US nationals as well as two Egyptians.
The court sentenced 27 defendants in absentia to five years. Five defendants, who were present in court, including one American, were sentenced to two years behind bars while the remaining 11 defendants were given one-year suspended sentences.
The defendants were charged with receiving illicit foreign funds and operating without a license.
The court on also ordered the closure of five foreign NGOs and the confiscation of their funds and documents in the foreign-funded NGOs case.
The NGOs which were shut down are: the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House (FH), the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), and the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organisation.
The Court heard pleading by lawyer Negad al-Boraie during the previous trial session. He argued for nullifying the investigations by claiming their referral decision was illegal.