Jordan drops Abbas' brother fraud case

The brother of Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas has paid to have charges against him dropped in a $500 million fraud case.

    Amman, Jordan, where Abbas was tried in absentia

    Jordan's state security court said charges against Ahmad Reda Shehadeh Abbas, 63, who lives in Qatar, and another suspect, Bader al-Hersh, were dropped after the two "paid a sum of money under a settlement".

    No information was available on the amount or terms of the settlement.

    At the end of July, the court had charged Abbas, in his absence, and four others along with the main accused Jordanian businessman, Majd Shamayleh, with "fraud, forgery and use of official documents and stamps for personal gain".

    Business wizard

    On 20 November, Shamayleh was formally charged with fraud, a day after his extradition from Australia.

     Jordan has renewed efforts to crack down on corruption under specific orders from King Abd Allah II.

    Shamayleh is accused of having secured unguaranteed bank loans and credits worth more than $100 million from four banks under the pretext of financing a project for Jordan's intelligence services.

    He was considered a business wizard in Jordan, where he managed an information technology firm and was a partner in 11 other companies.

    In a related case, former Jordanian intelligence chief Samih Batikhi was sentenced to four years in jail on 10 July for fraud and ordered to pay back $24 million.

    Batikhi's conviction came amid a renewed effort by Jordan to crack down on corruption and specific orders from King Abd Allah II that those involved be brought to trial.

    SOURCE: AFP


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