File picture shows pedestrians walk past Dubai's courts building during a hearing on April 4, 2010
File picture shows pedestrians walk past Dubai's courts building during a hearing on April 4, 2010. The United Arab Emirates is to put on trial 94 Islamists accused of plotting against the Gulf state, attorney general Salem Kobaish announced on Sunday. © - AFP/File
File picture shows pedestrians walk past Dubai's courts building during a hearing on April 4, 2010
AFP
Last updated: January 27, 2013

UAE to put 94 Islamists on trial over plot

The United Arab Emirates is to put on trial 94 Islamists accused of plotting against the Gulf state, attorney general Salem Kobaish announced on Sunday.

He said the accused, whose arrests were announced in July, will go on trial for "having created and led a movement aimed at opposing the basic foundations on which the state's political system is built and at seizing power."

The group had formed a "secret organisation" which was in contact with individuals and organisations "abroad", including the Muslim Brotherhood, Kobaish said, quoted by the official news agency WAM.

The attorney general said they had also created or invested in real estate companies to finance their organisation, but he did not specify when their trial will begin.

On January 9, WAM reported that UAE prosecutors had begun questioning women allegedly linked to the group.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates led by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, has not seen any of the widespread pro-reform protests which have swept other Arab countries, including fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Oman.

But authorities have stepped up a crackdown on voices of dissent and calls for democratic reform.

Dubai police chief General Dahi Khalfan has accused the Muslim Brotherhood -- which came to power after the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia -- of plotting against Gulf monarchies.

He charged the Islamists detained since last year were linked to the group.

This month, local media announced that UAE authorities had arrested 11 Egyptian residents suspected of links to the Brotherhood.

The case has sparked a sharp deterioration of relations between Abu Dhabi and Cairo, already under strain since Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi's election as Egyptian president last June.

The Gulf country, where membership of political parties is banned, has rejected a request from Egypt for the release of its nationals.

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