[JURIST] The Administrative Court in Egypt [JURIST news archive] ruled Tuesday that a presidential order that forty top members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] be tried before a military court was invalid, holding that the members must be tried instead in civilian court. According to a statement [text] from the Muslim Brotherhood, the decision was a "historic ruling" as it was the first time that a court has canceled the president's decision. The government has not yet said whether it will appeal the ruling.
The trial of the Muslim Brotherhood members proceeded before a secret military court [JURIST report] in April, with defense lawyers announcing that they would boycott the proceedings. A civilian court ordered the release of a number of defendants, including Brotherhood deputy supreme guide Khairat al-Shatir [BBC report], in January, several days before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile] ordered the Brotherhood members tried before the military court. A civilian court issued a second order for their release in April. AP has more.