World Bulletin / News Desk
An Egyptian court on Tuesday revoked an earlier decision by the military-backed government to seize a network of private schools owned and run by the embattled Muslim Brotherhood group, a judicial source has said.
According to the source, Tuesday's decision will be applied retroactively to similar decisions taken earlier by a government-appointed committee tasked with reviewing the outlawed Brotherhood's assets.
Last September, Egypt's Court for Urgent Matters banned all activities by the decades-old Brotherhood and all organizations linked to it. The court decision also froze all these organizations' assets.
The move came some three months after elected president Mohamed Morsi, a leading Brotherhood figure, was ousted and imprisoned by the army following opposition protests.
Last December, the government assumed control of the Brotherhood's sizeable countrywide network of 87 schools after the group was designated a "terrorist" organization.
On Tuesday, Egypt's Administrative Court said the previous court verdict had been used as "cover" by the government to appropriate Brotherhood funds "without any legal basis."
"The executive authority should not overstep or ignore the law," the court said in its rationale.
Following the verdict, Judge Ezzat Khamis, a member of the government committee tasked with running seized Brotherhood funds, told reporters that the committee planned to appeal Tuesday's verdict after studying its full statement.
A member of the State Council, Egypt's highest judicial authority in legal disputes between the state and public, asserted that all decisions issued by the committee were null and void.
"Fund-seizing can only be ordered by the Criminal Court, not by an administrative committee," Judge Abdel-Meguid al-Muqanen said.
The asset freezes, which have reached the Brotherhood's top leadership, came amid a harsh crackdown on dissent by Egypt's army-backed government that has primarily targeted Egypt's embattled Islamist camp.
The crackdown, which remains ongoing, has left hundreds of political dissidents dead and thousands behind bars since Morsi's ouster last summer.
The government blames the Brotherhood for a recent series of deadly attacks on security personnel – allegations denied by the group.Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2014, 10:09