CAIRO, Egypt,AP – Three members of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood were ordered Saturday to stand trial on charges of possessing weapons and provoking violence during parliamentary elections late last year, court officials said.
The three were arrested during the violent election season which saw at least 10 people killed in violence mainly blamed on security forces trying to block opposition voters from reaching the polls. Despite the police violence, the Brotherhood made astonishing gains, increasing its seats in parliament sevenfold but still well short of a majority.
The group is officially banned but is tolerated to a degree by the government.
Mohammed Imam al-Hut and Abdulal Hasan al-Najjar, both farmers, and university professor Hasan Mahmoud al-Haywan face charges of possessing weapons and plotting to use them during the second phase of Egypt parliamentary elections.
The charges emerged from telephone taps on the phones of al-Najjar and al-Haywan, who authorities claimed discussed assembling an arsenal of 400 automatic rifles and preparations to use them against the government.