Egypt acquits 43 NGO workers on illegal funding charges

(iStock)
(iStock)

An Egyptian court has acquitted 43 people, including German and US nationals, of charges they illegally received funding for their local and foreign non-governmental groups.

Thursday's verdict ended a seven-year legal battle that rattled civil society groups just months after a 2011 uprising forced autocrat Hosni Mubarak to step down after 29 years in power.

A lower court convicted the 43 in 2013. The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest appeals court, threw out that verdict and ordered a fresh trial, which culminated in Thursday's ruling. None of the 43 spent time in jail. The only three who received prison terms — up to three years — were tried in absentia.

Egypt's military had claimed that protests against its direct rule between February 2011 and June 2012 were funded by foreigners.

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