LE250 million will be paid as compensation to the Interior Ministry from the Muslim Brotherhood’s confiscated assets, Ezzat Khamis, head of the committee tasked with identifying, confiscating and managing the group’s financial assets, stated on Monday.
In a phone-in with Ahmed Moussa on the Sada al-Balad TV show Monday night, Khamis said the committee is reviewing a court order obliging 129 defendants in the Brotherhood’s prison break case to pay the Interior Ministry LE250 million in compensation.
The court order dates back to June, when the Cairo Criminal Court upheld a death sentence against former President Mohamed Morsi and five others, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, Saad al-Katatny and Essam al-Erian, for a mass prison break in 2011.
The court also upheld life sentences for other prominent Brotherhood leaders, including Safwat Hegazy, Sobhi Saleh, Mohamed al-Beltagy and Saad al-Husseini, in the same case. 94 death sentences were upheld in absentia.
The death sentences were originally issued on May 16 and sent to the grand mufti for review.
The defendants were charged with storming prisons, assisting the escape of convicts and looting of weapons, in addition to murder and attempted murder of police officers, among other charges.
The case is in relation to the mass escape that occurred at Wadi al-Natrun Prison during the security void in the early days of the 2011 revolution, enabling several Muslim Brotherhood leaders to escape from prison, among hundreds of other prisoners, including members of the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, according to the prosecution.
Khamis said that the court assessed damage to be worth LE250 million, and that this verdict will be presented to committee which will review and make sure it meets all the criteria to be implemented.
“The entire amount will be taken from the Muslim Brotherhood’s confiscated assets,” he said. “We have more than enough.”
He explained that the money will be given directly to the Interior Ministry.
In response, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, issued a statement claiming this is a way to “steal” the group’s money.
“The committee tasked with confiscating the group’s money by ‘Sisi’s Justice Ministry’ is the most blatant means of stealing in modern times, especially that most of the money belongs to charity organizations, as well as hospitals and orphanages,” the FJP said.
The statement continued saying the prison break case was orchestrated by the Interior Ministry and Mubarak’s regime to create chaos and foil protests organized by the people in 2011.
In his phone-in, Khamis was asked whether this decision was lawful, since the Brotherhood members in question do not know that the money will be paid from their pockets.
“Who cares if they know?” Khamis responded, adding, however, that they should be notified in prison according to the law.
Khamis said that this isn’t the first time the committee uses the confiscated money for compensation, citing the case of lawyer Osama Kamal, whom the Cairo Criminal Court ruled in favor of after he was allegedly tortured by Brotherhood members following the 2011 uprising.
Kamal was paid LE100,000 in compensation by the same committee.