Egypt refers Muslim Brotherhood businessman to court

CAIRO - Egyptian prosecutors have referred detained Muslim Brotherhood businessman Hassan Malik to court on charges of belonging to and funding the outlawed Islamist group.

The ruling on Wednesday includes 23 other suspected members of the group, which rose to power through elections after the 2011 uprising that toppled a longtime autocrat but is now branded a terrorist organization.

Malik was arrested in October 2015 and has been held since then without trial. Of the 24 defendants, 11 are detained.

Mohammed Morsi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood figure, became Egypt's first freely elected president in 2012. The military overthrew him a year later amid mass protests against his rule. Since then, authorities have waged a fierce crackdown against the Islamist group, as well as secular and other critics of the government.

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