CAIRO — Egypt has charged five leading members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, including a Saudi cleric, with money laundering and fund raising abroad for the group.
Only one is currently in custody, the rest, including the Saudi, were charged in absentia.
It is the first time a foreigner has been charged, in an apparent escalation of the government's crackdown against the group ahead of this year's legislative elections.
Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud on Wednesday referred the five to a State Security Emergency court, an exceptional court whose rulings cannot be appealed.
Though banned, the 80-year old group has renounced violence and is somewhat tolerated by the state.
Its members can run for elections as independents.