Court unfreezes assets of Egyptian 'Muslim Brotherhood football star'

Court unfreezes assets of Egyptian 'Muslim Brotherhood football star'
An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned a decision to freeze the assets of football star Mohamed Aboutrika imposed last year after he was accused of funding the Muslim Brotherhood.
2 min read
22 June, 2016
Aboutrika is one of the most successful Egyptian footballers [Getty]

An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned a freeze on the assets of former football star Mohamed Aboutrika, imposed last year on suspicions he financed the Muslim Brotherhood.

A government committee had blocked the assets of the former Al-Ahly and Egyptian national team player in May 2015, two years after he retired.

On Tuesday an administrative court reversed the decision, Egyptian media reported.

Aboutrika, one of the most successful African footballers of his generation, had publicly endorsed the presidential bid of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in 2012.

Morsi went on to become Egypt's first democratically elected president, only for the army to oust him one year later in a military coup, and ban the Brotherhood as a "terrorist" organisation.

Aboutrika's lawyer, Mohamed Osmane, confirmed Tuesday's decision, saying the freeze had included "all of his assets, bank accounts, properties".

The authorities can appeal the latest decision, he added.

In his first response to the ruling, Aboutrika told Nagham FM radio: "the position I was placed in for the past 14 month had been a very difficult one". 

Aboutrika's share in the Tours Travel Company were seized over accusations it had funded the Brotherhood since December 2013.

In an interview with state-run Al-Ahram newspaper after last year's court decision, Aboutrika denied that his company - or any of his partners - had ever funded the Islamist movement.

Since Morsi's overthrow, a police crackdown against the Brotherhood has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed.

Aboutrika retired in 2013, and the 37-year-old has since avoided expressing his political views publicly.