Cairo: An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced Hassan Malek, a key businessman linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, to life in prison on charges of damaging the national economy and funding the banned Islamist group, legal sources said.
The Cairo Criminal Court also handed down life sentences to six others, including Malek’s son, in the same case, the sources added. Three co-defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison each, while 14 others were acquitted.
The rulings can be appealed.
The defendants were charged with joining an outlawed group and smuggling large amounts of dollars outside Egypt in an attempt to weaken the local currency in order to raise public discontent against the government, the sources said.
They were also accused of financing attacks against security forces and state institutions.
Malek, now 60, was arrested in October 2015 at his house outside Cairo. His arrest was part of a security crackdown, which targeted hundreds of the Brotherhood leaders and followers after the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following mass protests against his divisive rule.
In late 2013, the Egyptian government designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group after a series of terror attacks in the country.