Jordanian MPs want Chalabi in jail

Several Jordanian MPs are to call on the United States to extradite its key Iraqi ally, Ahmed Chalabi to serve out a long prison sentence for fraud.

    Convicted fraudster Chalabi (right) is seen by many as a US stooge

    The 21 MPs want the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, convicted of serious financial fraud in Jordan but now a prominent US-ally in the Iraqi Governing Council, to be sent back to Amman to serve his 22-year sentence.

    Jordanian newspapers on Sunday said the MPs had called for an extraordinary session of the parliament so that Chalabi's extradition via Interpol could be discussed.

    "We are collecting more signatures in the coming days and we will ask the government to send a request to the US administration to extradite Chalabi to Jordan via Interpol," MP Mahmud Kharabcheh said.

    Though held in high esteem by Washington, Chalabi has had an unsavoury past.

    He fled Jordan in1989 when his business empire collapsed amid accusations of financial irregularities. He has surfaced now in Baghdad as a vocal US-supporter.

    Chalabi was convicted in absentia by Jordanian courts of fraud and embezzling 288 million dollars.

    Jordanian MPs now want him to face a second trial, on additional charges of defrauding the central bank and his clients of 900 million dollars.


    'We are collecting more signatures in the coming days and we will ask the government to send a request to the US administration to extradite Chalabi to Jordan via Interpol'

    --Jordanian MP

    Local newspapers said the MPs were ready to send a letter to the US administration and congress, calling for his extradition to Amman to serve his sentence and face the new trial.

    Any such request is sure to come as a severe embarrassment to the US.

    Propped up by Washington, Chalabi has been a time-tested cheerleader of the US and had extended open support to its war in Iraq.

    But Kharabcheh insisted an extraordinary session of parliament would debate the real causes behind the collapse of Chalabi's business empire and his personal role in it.

    Jordanian Foreign Minister, Marwan Moasher, has also accused Chalabi of financial irregularities in Switzerland and Lebanon.

    Chalabi on his part says he has been framed by the former regime in Baghdad.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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