Jordan ex-spy chief held over graft charges

Mohammad al-Dahabi, former intelligence head, detained on charges of money laundering, abuse of power and embezzlement.

    Dahabi's charges appear to be part of the government's boosted efforts to tackle corruption among leading officials

    Jordanian prosecutors have ordered the detention of a former intelligence chief over corruption-related charges.

    Mohammed al-Dahabi, a general who ran the country's intelligence department from 2005 to 2008, will be held at al-Juweida prison outside the Jordanian capital, Amman, while an investigation takes place into the allegations.

    "Amman prosecutors today ordered a 15-day detention of Dahabi over money laundering, abuse of power and embezzlement charges," the official told the AFP news agency on Thursday.

    Dahabi has "pleaded not guilty" to the allegations, the official said.

    Anti-graft campaign

    Dahabi's arrest is the latest step in an anti-graft campaign that has widened in recent months to include the indictment of several leading businessmen and a former mayor of Amman.

    On January 25, Dahabi was barred from leaving the country and had his assets frozen by order of Jordan's general prosecutor following a central bank complaint against him.

    In December, Jordan launched an anti-corruption campaign against leading political figures, in an effort to satisfy calls by the opposition to tackle graft.

    But the opposition has remained sceptical and continues to call for senior officials to be brought to justice for alleged embezzlement of public funds.

    The campaign is also seen as a response to demonstrations calling for greater political freedom and an end to corruption.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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