El-Erian to be tried in UAE for ‘threatening overthrow of regime’
Muslim Brotherhood’s leading member Essam el-Erian during his trial - Youm7(Archive)

CAIRO: Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, will be tried in absentia in the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 11 for “ threatening and inciting the overthrow of the regime,” Emirati newspaper Al-Khaleej reported Friday.

The Emirati Supreme Federal Court has begun procedures to announce Erian as a defendant as per a Monday ruling by the State Security Court, which said in its memorandum that he aided and abetted a secret Muslim Brotherhood cell in the UAE, according to Al-Khaleej.

“The Emiratis are unable to read correctly, and imagine that there is a specific date at which Egypt would change. Unfortunately, Egyptian teachers did not teach Emiratis right,” Erian said on June 17, 2013 at a meeting in the Shura Council discussing the case of 14 Egyptian detainees in the UAE, Al-Ahram Gate reported.

The memorandum filed against Erian accused him of making statements “glorifying” the Brotherhood convicts in UAE, and casting false charges detrimental to the sovereignty of the country, reported Al-Khaleej.

Erian “exploited religion” in promoting ideas stirring strife and division in the UAE and threatened it by making statements such as “nuclear Iran is coming,” the memorandum continued.

“Mr. Ambassador, tell them nuclear Iran is coming, and that there is a tsunami coming from Iran, not Egypt, and that the Persians are coming and [Emiratis] would be slaves for the Persians,” Al-Ahram quoted Erian as saying to Ali al-Esheriy, the assistant of the minister of foreign affairs at the Shura Council meeting.

Further, the memorandum accused Erian of using the internet to agitate people against the UAE by claiming it was waging a war against Islam.

The UAE already sentenced 10 Emiratis and 20 Egyptians, six of whom had already left the country and were tried in absentia, to prison in January for forming a branch of the Brotherhood in Emirati territory without a license, according to CNN Arabia.

The 10 Emiratis also belonged to Al-Islah, a UAE-based Islamist group close to the Brotherhood, which was convicted of “plotting the ouster of the regime.” A total of 65 of its members were sentenced to prison in July 2013.

Erian is held in custody in Egypt, and is charged in three high-profile cases alongside the most prominent Brotherhood leaders, Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Khairat al-Shater and former President Mohamed Morsi.

The next session for Erian, on charges of killing protesters at Ithadeya presidential palace in December 2012 is scheduled for May 13. On May 19, he will stand another session in the case of plotting major prison breaks during the January 25 Revolution. His case on collaborating with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran is scheduled for another hearing on May 17.

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