Prosecution of Jordanian Parliamentarians Who Praised Zarqawi Proceeds
As reported on ThreatsWatch on June 5, the Jordanian government arrested four Islamists members of parliament after they went to the family house of Ahmad al-Khalaya - a.k.a. Abu Musab Zarqawi - to pay their respects after his death at the hands of U.S. forces in Baghdad. This was followed by a declaration by several independent Jordanian political figures not officially affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Action Front but including the IAF’s leader which called for replacement of the Jordanian government with another government which would support the “resistance” in Palestine and Iraq - in other words, make war on Israel and the United States.
Al-Hayat is now reporting that a state prosecutor’s office has decided to refer three of the four to the State Security Court for prosecution, and set the fourth free. The article notes that the four were arrested following legal complaints by the families of victims of attacks in Amman perpetrated by Zarqawi last year. The reason given for the ruling was that the three proposed for prosecution - Muhammad Abu Farris, Ali Abu Sakr and Jawfar Hourani - had not only visited the home but gave speeches praising Zarqawi, making individual statements supporting Zarqawi, while the fourth - Ibrahim Mashukhi - merely visited. The sentences for which they are eligible include prison terms of six months to three years and a 500 dinar fine (just over $700 at current exchange rates).
The article also reports that, according to some parliamentary sources, the parliament may be meeting to vote on whether or not to lift parliamentary immunity of the defendants or restore it, bringing prosecution to a halt.