A lawyer for a Libyan Canadian on trial in the United Arab Emirates says prosecutors have dropped terrorism charges in the case, which includes two Libyan Americans, and have instead charged them with the lesser offense of illegally raising funds.

Prosecutors had initially charged them with knowingly financing two Libyan rebel groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terrorist organization under UAE law. They've been under arrest since August 2014.

Paul Champ, speaking to The Associated Press on Thursday from Canada, says prosecutors Monday charged them with providing goods and funds to organizations without approval from the UAE — a charge they deny.

The four defendants named in the case are Libyan Americans Kamal Eldarat and his son Mohammed Eldarat, Libyan Canadian Sami Alaradi and Libyan national Issa Almanna.