Egypt sentences Muslim Brotherhood tycoon to life in jail

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An Egyptian court Tuesday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood business tycoon Hassan Malek to life in prison on terrorism charges and for “harming the national economy”, a court official said.

He said the state security court handed down the same sentence to his son, Hamza Malek, another prominent businessman, Abdul Rahman al-Seoudi, and to four others.

Three defendants were sentenced to 10 years in jail and 14 others were acquitted. Tuesday’s rulings can be appealed.

“The prosecution found organizational material of the Muslim Brotherhood with plans to harm the national economy by creating a continuous demand for US dollars to devalue the Egyptian pound against foreign currencies,” said the official.

The court also found the main defendants guilty of “plotting terror acts targeting military and police forces as well as the tourism sector, including European and Russian visitors”.

Malek, a mogul who was an informal advisor to Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, before he was deposed, built his fortune through a chain of computer, electronics and furniture stores.

Seoudi, also sentenced to life, owns a large chain of supermarkets operating throughout Egypt.

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