x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE Muslim Brotherhood trial: 30 referred to top court

Thirty people are to stand trial at the Federal Supreme Court accused of setting up and running a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

ABU DHABI // Thirty Emiratis and Egyptians will stand trial at the Federal Supreme Court accused of setting up and running a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Details of the charges against the accused were revealed for the first time today by the Advocate General of the State Security Public Prosecution, Rashid Ahmed Al Dhanhani.

Prosecutors say the group stole a USB memory stick from a government department containing images, maps and information about the department, and illegally distributed that information.

The USB device also contained confidential government files on 94 Emiratis accused of plotting to overthrow the state, which contained their names, photographs and personal details.

Prosecutors say the 30 accused obtained financial support from that group, who are being tried for sedition in a separate case in which a verdict is expected next month. They also held secret meetings to discuss the contents of the device.

The principal charges against the 30 accused are that some of them established and managed a UAE branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and formed an organisational structure to fulfil the Islamist group's objectives, including attracting new members and guaranteeing their loyalty.

Prosecutors say they collected donations, alms and contributions without permits to support the group financially, and formed a media commission to collect, print and distribute news, particularly from Egypt.

No date for a trial has been announced and the 30 accused remain in custody.

hdajani@thenational.ae