‘Defendants Linked to Bin Laden Wanted only to Fight Jews in Palestine’
Lawyers defending 28 suspects, charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in Jordan, said their clients only wanted to fight Jews in Palestine.
The defense for the suspects, who are allegedly linked to dissident Saudi Osama Bin Laden, called for their clients' acquittal, saying their testimony was "illegal and made under duress."
Some of the lawyers insisted that the defendants "only wanted to fight Jews in Palestine, making the State Security Court where the trial has been underway since April unfit to try them.
Defense lawyers for five other defendants will be heard by the court on August 10th after which a final verdict is expected.
Another 12 defendants are being tried in absentia.
State prosecutor Mahmoud Obeidat last week demanded the death penalty for five militants who have appeared in court, including alleged ringleader Khader Abu Hoshar, and seven fugitives including Palestinian leader Munir Maqdah.
Obeidat said all 28 defendants were "guilty" for planning to carry out attacks on tourists and other Western targets in Jordan and should be sentenced accordingly, although 12 only should be executed.
The charges carrying the death penalty include the illegal possession of explosives and automatic weapons and the illegal production of explosive devices.
All of the defendants have denied the charges against them as well as any link with Bin Laden or his network Al-Qaeda, the Base.
Bin Laden, who is thought to be living in Afghanistan, is wanted in the United States in connection with bomb attacks on US embassies in East Africa in 1998 that killed more than 200 people.
Sixteen were arrested in Jordan, most of them in December, before they could carry out the alleged planned bombings against sites including Christian pilgrimage spots and tourist hotels - AMMAN (AFP)
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