Egypt releases senior Brotherhood member

CAIRO (AA) – Egyptian authorities have released senior Muslim Brotherhood member Helmi al-Gazzar on bail pending trial on incitement charges, his son said Sunday.

The Egyptian prosecution ordered the release of al-Gazzar on $14,000 bail pending his trial in connection with last year’s deadly clashes in Giza’s Bein al-Sarayat district between supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader himself, his son Amr al-Gazzar told Anadolu Agency.

The Egyptian authorities also released Karima al-Serafi, daughter of Ayman al-Serafi who served as Morsi’s aide for information affairs – also pending trial, her brother Ahmed said.

Al-Serafi was arrested in March on charges of espionage and “leaking classified reports.”

A judicial source said that the decision to release the pair does not mean that they were acquitted of the charges.

Morsi, who won the country’s first free presidential election in 2012, was ousted by the military in July of last year following protests against his single year in office.

Former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, widely seen as the architect of Morsi’s ouster and subsequent imprisonment last year, was declared winner of a presidential poll conducted in May.

Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt’s military-backed authorities have waged a relentless crackdown on his supporters – and on other political dissidents – in which hundreds have been killed and thousands believed to have been thrown behind bars.

Morsi himself currently faces four separate trials for multiple criminal charges, including espionage, jailbreak and offending the judiciary.

The Egyptian government has blamed Morsi’s Brotherhood for a series of deadly attacks on security personnel since Morsi’s ouster – allegations the group denies.

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