Egypt: Trial of 40 members of opposition group starts
The trial of 40 members of Egyptian opposition group - the Muslim Brotherhood - on charges of money-laundering and financing a banned organization resumed at a military tribunal on Sunday. The trial is taking place amid an ongoing clampdown on the Islamists, with another 28 members of Egypt's main opposition group detained in the past two days.
Police detained 12 Muslim Brothers in Nile Delta towns north of Cairo early on Sunday, having already detained 16 leading members in another swoop in the capital on Friday.
At Sunday's trial police officers were set to testify that the defendants -- mainly businessmen -- were involved in financing an illegal group, a charge that in the military court could carry the death penalty. Rights groups including Amnesty International have expressed opposition to the use of military courts to try civilians, who in this case include the Brotherhood's number three, Khayrat al-Shater.
The accused were referred to the military court by presidential decree after a number of them were cleared on the same charges by a civil criminal court.
The 16 arrested on Friday, who include senior figures Essam al-Aryan and Mahmoud Hussein, have been ordered held for 15 days pending formal charges being laid against them.