Jordan postpones major corruption trial

Amman (dpa) - A Jordanian military court on Tuesday postponed the corruption trial of at least 29 people, including ex-officials and prominent businessmen, one day before it was scheduled to begin.

The first session of the trial will now be held on March 12.

The head of the State Security Court, judge Mohamed al-Afif, explained that one of the suspects was undergoing surgery in hospital, state broadcaster Jordan TV reported.
At least 29 people face trial, including six who will be tried in absentia, on charges that include corruption, money laundering, bribery and abuse of power.
They were involved in the illegal production and smuggling of tobacco, an operation that was worth millions of dollars, leading the proceedings to be dubbed the "tobacco trial."
Prosecutors also charged 29 companies owned by some of the suspects.
The government announced in July 2018 that it had uncovered the criminal operation. The suspects include top businessman Awni Mutee, who was extradited from Turkey in December.
Former customs chief Waddah al-Hamoud and former minister of water Mounir Oweis have also been charged in the case.
The Jordanian government, appointed in June following protests against austerity measures, see the case as their major success in fighting corruption in the country.
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz tried to quell public anger after taking office by saying he would pursue the battle against corruption.

Tuesday, March 5th 2019

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