Global media are reporting on the Egyptian announcement that it will prosecute for Muslim Brotherhood members and, for the first time, a Saudi on charges of money laundering. According to a report in the London-based Saudi paper Asharq Al-Awsat:
In what represents a judicial precedent, the Egyptian Public Prosecution has charged a Saudi preacher who is allegedly a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization with money laundering and raising funds abroad, along with 4 other Egyptians. According to the details revealed by the Egyptian Public Prosecution, 4 Egyptians and 1 Saudi Arabian have been charged. The Public Prosecution did not reveal information about the Saudi citizen, who is Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni who the Egyptians previously accused of being a member of the outlawed organization a few months ago before dropping the charges. Saudi preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni is not to be confused with his namesake the more famous Saudi preacher Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni. Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud yesterday issued the order to charge the 5 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood International organization with money laundering and raising funds abroad for an outlawed group, and for their case to be transferred to the Egyptian State Security Emergency Court. The defendants are listed as; Assistant Secretary-General of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate Dr. Ashraf Abdel-Ghafer, as well as Islamic preacher Sheikh Abdul Hamid Ghoneim, Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni, Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sabah Bureau De Change Dr. Osama Mohamed Suleiman. The latter four have been charged in absentia and are listed as fugitives. This is the first time in Egyptian legal history that a Saudi preacher has been charged with financing the Muslim Brotherhood which is outlawed throughout Egypt.
Other news reports say that the group channeled money through an unidentified British-based Islamic charity to fund the movement’s Egyptian activities.
The Asharq Al-Awsat report goes on to provide background on the prosecution:
The trial of the accused by the Egyptian State Security Emergency Court is set to take place within the next few days, and under Egyptian Emergency law the results of this trial cannot be appealed. The Egyptian Public Prosecution revealed that they accused 4 of the 5 suspects of providing financing of £4 million to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization to finance its illegal activities in Egypt. The Public Prosecution also accused 2 of the 5 suspects of money laundering a sum of 2.8 million euros. The Public Prosecution alleges that Defendant No 4 sent several money transfers to the account of Defendant No 5, and that this money was later transferred into US dollars. The details of the case date back to July 2009 when the Egyptian Intelligence Service discovered that an individual they were investigating for money laundering – Defendant No 5 – was in fact a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that he was laundering money for the outlawed group. The Public Prosecution claim that Defendant No 5 was receiving money from abroad, which he was laundering for the Muslim Brotherhood organization through various foreign investment projects in Egypt. The Public Prosecution documents also reveal that on 4 June 2009, the Egyptian Security Services received notification from the unit dealing with money laundering that various suspicious money transfers amounting to 2.7 million euros had been made into a Lebanese bank account belonging to Defendant No 5.
In April 2008, 25 Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including five individuals living overseas, were sentenced on various charges by a military tribunal. One of the overseas defendants was Fathi Al-Khouli (aka Fathi Ahmed Al Khouli) who is an Egyptian approximately 90 years old residing in Saudi Arabia where he was active in various positions relating to education.