An Egyptian military court has again postponed its verdict in the trial of 40 Muslim Brotherhood members facing charges of belonging to a banned organization.

The verdict is now scheduled for April 15, days after the country's local elections, in which the Brotherhood is challenging Egypt's ruling party.

Officials for the opposition group Tuesday called the postponement a political move.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the 40 to stand trial in a military court more than a year ago, on charges of money laundering and terrorism.  Of the 40 defendants, 33 have been in custody since December 2006.

The Brotherhood says police have detained about 700 members of the group since last month.  The group also says Egyptian officials are undermining its chances in the April eighth local elections by registering only 60 of its potential 10,000 candidates.

The Brotherhood has been officially banned in Egypt since 1954, but the group operates openly, and its members run for office as independents.  It controls one-fifth of the seats in Egypt's lower house of parliament.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.