Jordan’s ex-spy chief given 13-year sentence

Mohammad al-Dahabi found guilty of embezzlement and abuse of office and fined $30m.

Dahabi, right, was accused of laundering and embezzlement during his tenure as intelligence chief [Al Jazeera]
Dahabi, right, was accused of laundering and embezzlement during his tenure as intelligence chief [Al Jazeera]

Jordan’s former intelligence chief has been given a 13-year prison sentence and a fine of $30m after being convicted of corruption.

Mohammad al-Dahabi was found guilty on Sunday of charges including embezzlement, money laundering, and abuse of office.

Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Amman

The presiding judge, Nashaat Akhras, also demanded in court that Dahabi pay $29.6m in fines to the state, and return money he allegedly laundered and embezzled during his 2005-2008 tenure as the head of Jordanian intelligence.

The judge said the total amount is estimated at $34m.

“You deserve the harshest punishment for being a traitor to the people who trusted you with a government position and state funds,” Akhras told the ex-official.

Dahabi was arrested in February, when inspectors from the Central Bank of Jordan suspected transactions worth millions of dollars had gone through his bank account.

This rare case against such a high-profile official was meant to show Jordan’s seriousness in efforts to tackle graft and corruption, a demand voiced in recent street protests.

Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from the capital Amman, says: “This is a significant trial. It shows the government is serious about fighting corruption.. because of the massive protests, the King and [the] government have tried hard in fighting corruption.”

In 2003, Jordan sentenced another ex-intelligence chief to eight years in jail for forgery of state documents and abuse of office. Sameeh al-Batikhi was released after serving his prison term.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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