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Lawyer: US nonprofits caught in Egypt aid dispute

egypt_protestor_clashes.jpg

Feb. 6, 2012: An Egyptian protestor injured in clashes with security forces is carried to a field hospital during clashes near the Interior Ministry in Cairo, Egypt.

CAIRO -- A lawyer representing Americans facing trial over activities of their pro-democracy groups says they have been caught in a dispute between the U.S. and Egypt over aid.

The groups are accused of operating without licenses and receiving illegal foreign funding. . Top U.S. officials have warned that U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, more than $1 billion a year, is in jeopardy over the case. Washington has insisted the 19 Americans facing trial did nothing wrong
Lawyer Tharwat Abdel-Shahed says Egypt's rulers objected to the funds for the groups being deducted from U.S. aid to the government.

"This has sparked the government's anger," he said Tuesday, putting the total funding directed to the groups at $45 million.

Egypt's military rulers have accused the groups of funding and promoting anti-government protests.