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NGO suspects leave Egypt on special plane

(Xinhua)

09:29, March 02, 2012

CAIRO, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Fifteen NGO defendants who were banned from travel have flown out of Cairo on a special plane for Cyprus, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

The 15 people included eight Americans, three Serbians, two Germans and one Norwegian and one Palestinian, the report said. The North Cairo Criminal Court started the trial of NGO workers last Sunday. Only 14 of the defendants attended the session. The court postponed the trial to April 26.

Egypt lifted the travel ban imposed on the 43 defendants on Wednesday. The panel judges of the trial resigned on Tuesday.

Egypt's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abul-Naga, asserted that the trial of the foreign NGO defendants will continue and a new panel of judges will be assigned to follow up the trial.

The accused organizations include the U.S. International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Freedom House. Egypt said these NGOs operated in Egypt without licenses and received money illegally.

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