Americans On Trial Can Leave Egypt

By Salon Staff

Published March 1, 2012 4:36PM (EST)

CAIRO (AP) — Seven American democracy workers facing trial in Egypt on charges of fomenting unrest are free to leave the country after the U.S. posted nearly $5 million in bail to win their release, Egyptian officials said Thursday.

Court officials said the U.S. paid bail for the seven and nine other Americans charged in the case who had already left Egypt. It was set at $300,000 for each of the 16 or $4.8 million. Egypt lifted the travel ban on the seven late Wednesday and set the bail.

A convoy of white vans carrying the sign of U.S. Embassy arrived at Cairo airport carrying the seven Americans, who include the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They had sought refuge at the U.S. embassy, fearing arrest.

The case has infuriated Washington, which threatened to cut off $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt.

The Americans worked at non-profit groups promoting democracy in Egypt and were charged with stoking anti-government unrest with illegal foreign funding.

The case sparked intense behind-the-scenes negotiations between the two countries to find a way out.

Salon Staff

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