Egypt starts NGO workers’ trial

February 26th, 2012 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Feb 26 (IANS) A trial of 43 workers - including 19 Americans and two Germans - from domestic and foreign non-governmental organisations who were charged with receiving illegal foreign funding began in Egypt Sunday.

Also on trial in the Cairo Criminal Court are five people from Serbia, two from Lebanon, one from Jordan, one from Palestine and 14 from Egypt, Xinhua reported citing state-run Nile TV.

The session began amid tight security outside the court but as none of the foreign defendants appeared in the court, judge Mohamed Mahmoud Shokry decided to postpone the trial to April 26.

Only the 14 Egyptians appeared in the trial’s first session.

The defendants’ lawyers asked the judge to give them more time to peruse the relevant documents.

The lawyers said they needed to contact the justice ministry to demand bringing accredited translators to represent the foreign defendants.

The International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute — both reportedly funded by the US government — are among the organisations accused of receiving $40 million over a period of six months.

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