US government ultimately paid bail for Egypt NGOs

March 2, 2012 23:34

WASHINGTON - The bail paid for US pro-democracy activists facing charges in Egypt ultimately came from the US government, the State Department said on Friday.

Egyptian authorities had accused the workers, including the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, of working for groups receiving illegal foreign funding and had barred them from leaving the country.

The case put at risk $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Egypt, a cash transfer that began flowing after Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979, and it marked the deepest rift in US-Egyptian relations in decades.

The travel ban was lifted this week and the US State Department on Friday said 13 foreign workers -- six of them US citizens -- had left Egypt on a private plane. The amount of bail paid for the US citizens was set at about $330,000 each.

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