The Federal Supreme Court. A clandestine group comprising 20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis is accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organisation. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The Public Prosecution on Tuesday called on the State Security Court to apply the maximum sentence of ten years against the clandestine Egyptian-Emirati group accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organisation.

The trial was presided over by Judge Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Tunaiji, who adjourned the hearing to December 10.

He ordered the prosecution to give the case files and related documents to the lawyers of the accused, to give them ample time to study these before making their final statements. The judge also asked the defence lawyers, who pointed out that they required at least three weeks to gather witnesses and study the investigation case files of all suspects, to submit their written defence argument in the next session.

The group, comprising 20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis, went on trial on Tuesday in the same courtroom which heard the case of the 94 Emiratis who were on trial earlier this year for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The court earlier said it has concluded the investigation. The rulings of the Federal Supreme Court are final and binding.

The prosecution demanded that the accused be given a maximum jail term of ten years as per the UAE Penal Code, Article 121, sections 155, 160, 166, 181 and 182, in addition to Law No2/2008, sections 43 and 52, which deal with establishing civil associations in the country.

During the trial, the prosecution accused the group of establishing and operating a secret cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE. The prosecution argued the group collected and sent a total of Dh2.3 million to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the presidential election campaign.

The prosecution also said the accused collected funds through zakat and sadaqa (donations), via a membership fee from members and also received additional investment from a number of sources in the UAE. The prosecution also claimed that five per cent of the suspects’ basic salary went into funding the clandestine organisation.

A few of the suspects were also accused of stealing classified information from a flash drive that belonged to a State Security Department official.

According to the prosecutor’s charge sheet, the group of suspects also tried to establish a large branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE within a span of four years.

The group operated under an established structure that included a council, which was led by a chairman and a deputy chairman. The branch also had a general manager and two deputies, which also included various committees, the prosecution said.