6a00d8341c630a53ef0168e8938020970c-600wiLos Angeles Times:

A lone American appeared in a Cairo courtroom Thursday in a criminal case against civil society workers that has shaken Egypt’s new political establishment and strained relations between the U.S. and one of its closest Arab allies.

 

Robert Becker, an employee of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), stood in the defendants’ cage with 14 Egyptians, all charged with working for unlicensed nongovernmental organizations that received illegal foreign funding.

 

Becker is one of 16 Americans and 27 others facing charges in the case. Six of the Americans left Egypt last week and returned to the U.S. after $330,000 in bail was paid for each and their travel restrictions were lifted. The nine other U.S. nationals had previously left the country.

 

Becker’s bail also was posted last week, but he chose to stay and face trial. He and the other defendants could receive up to five years in prison each if convicted…

 

… Many Egyptians admire Becker for staying behind. Reuters quoted one of his supporters, who asked not to be named, as saying: ‘Mr. Becker is a man we all respect. I was one of the party members he trained. He taught us how to campaign during elections and what democratic governance means. He is a good man and respects Egyptians’…