Egypt drops terrorism, money laundering charges against Brotherhood

Egypt's military tribunal on Sunday dropped charges of terrorism and money laundering against 40 senior members of Muslim Brotherhood who were arrested a year ago, judicial officials and the group's web site said. "The military court dropped charges of money laundering and terrorism," said a judicial official speaking on customary condition of anonymity as he's not authorized to talk to the media. "But the court kept the charges of belonging to a banned group and managing companies on behalf of the organization for businessmen Khayrat el-Shater and Hassan Malek," added the official. El-Shater, 57, the number three man of Egypt's largest and oldest Islamic group, was arrested along with 39 other prominent members of the movement last December. The trial opened in April but the hearings have been closed to media with only a few close relatives allowed to attend the proceedings at Haykstep military base on Cairo's outskirts.