Jordanian Authorities Inspect Engineers’ Union Offices, Confiscate Anti-Normalization Documents
By Eyad Khalifa
The prosecutor of the state security court has ordered the inspection of the engineers’ association offices as the authorities in Jordan prepare their case against eight members of the anti-normalization committee, seven of whom were detained last week after they issued a list of individuals accused of having relations with Israel.
Head of Bar Association and former chairman of the professional associations council Saleh Armouti told Albawaba.com that Colonel Mahmoud Obeidat, the court’s prosecutor, had ordered the inspection, which was carried out in the presence of Ali Abu Sukkar, member of the association and head of the anti-normalization committee, and another suspect, Mohammad Abu Jbara.
Abu Sukkar was arrested on charges of possessing explosives and belonging to an illegal organization.
Eyewitnesses said that the police confiscated some documents at the offices in west Amman Saturday, but they were only “minutes of the committee’s meetings.” Media representatives were not allowed in, they said.
Meanwhile, the case of anti-normalization people is still making headlines as the argument between those who are against the arrest and others who support the government procedure is spiraling.
Armouti insisted in an interview with Albawaba.com that the issue is “purely political,” accusing the authorities of cracking down on the anti-Israelis to make room for Israeli penetration of Jordan’s society and economy.
However, Sultan Hattab, a leading columnist who came under bitter criticism after a visit to Israel in 1999, counterattacked by accusing the activists of “splitting the society into two groups.”
“What the committee has done is that they jeopardized the social and economic security at a time when all Jordanians should be in one trench against the pending dangers of the developments in Israel,” Hattab said, referring to the strong possibility of Israeli hawkish Likud leader Ariel Sharon’s winning the premiership elections on Tuesday.
A businessman on the black list, Abdul Razzaq Dajani, said that his company is studying suing the committee members for libel, describing what happened as “assassination of his name.”
Dajani said that he is being verbally harassed wherever he goes because of the accusation, but denied rumors that he had received threats on his life.
Dajani, who chairs a concrete company, refused to comment on the arrest of Abu Sukkar and his colleagues and denied he has any links with Israel.
Armouti, for his part, refused the link between the arrests and the publication of the list but said there are efforts on the part of the associations’ council to resolve the issue. He said they are contacting Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and other political figures to close the case file.
Commenting on the counterattacks by people whose names are on the list, the leading lawyer gave a diplomatic answer.
“We have to concentrate on the Israeli elections now; as regarding the individuals and companies on the list, we can arrive at an understanding with them,” he said.
Albawaba.com has also learnt that a detained member of the committee, Issam Abu Farha, has been hospitalized with thyroid problems.
The eighth suspect, Ali Hattar, is said to be in Baghdad where he was when his house was inspected and explosives were allegedly found.