2 Mar 2012

Accused foreigners leave Egypt

1:57 pm on 2 March 2012

Seventeen foreigners at the centre of a row between Egypt and the United States, have left Cairo after a travel ban was lifted.

The BBC reports they left on Thursday on a US military plane to Cyprus.

They went on trial on Sunday, accused of receiving illegal foreign funding and stirring up unrest. All worked at non-governmental organisations.

They had been prevented from leaving Egypt after being charged with receiving illegal funding from overseas and accused of stirring up unrest.

Mena, the official Egyptian news agency, reported that the US posted bail for all the Americans charged in the case, which was set at $US300,000 per person

Police in Cairo raided the offices of 17 NGOs in December and confiscated documents and computers, before imposing a travel ban a month later.

The accused are American, Palestinian, Norwegian, Serbian and German. The BBC reports they could still be tried and convicted in absentia.