Former Jordanian MP Appeals Six-Month Prison Sentence
Former Jordanian MP, Sheikh Abdul-Munem Abu Zant on Sunday appealed a six-month jail sentence handed down against him in absentia for four crimes, including fanning sectarian strife, reported the Jordan Times.
His lawyer, Imad Armouti, said he had lodged a three-point appeal with the Court of Cassation in a bid to get the sentence, which was delivered two months ago, lifted through a retrial, said the paper.
Abu Zant had slammed the then government of prime minister Abdel Rauf Rawadbeh during Friday prayers in September after a clampdown against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
Rawabdeh's government filed suit against Abu Zant, who was briefly detained for interrogation and then released on bail.
The verdict issued by the court accused him of "defamation against the government, inciting conflict among Jordanians and sedition" as well as violating a law that says politics should be kept out Friday prayer sermons.
Armouti argued that the lower court ruling should be null and void because his client was never notified about or summoned for court hearings.
"Neither Abu Zant nor I were informed about the court sessions or the subsequent sentencing," Armouti told the Jordan Times last week, adding that the Penal Code gave his client the right to make Sunday's appeal.
The appeal reiterates Abu Zant's previous pleas of not guilty on all four government charges of fanning sectarian strife, slandering the executive branch, violating the Sermons Law and failing to sign a pledge not to preach in public mosques, added the paper.
The government originally brought the charges against Abu Zant, a 63-year-old Islamist activist, last October.
The lawyer said on Sunday that he expected the court of cassation to soon refer the appeal to one of its six tribunals, the paper said - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)