Jordanian Ex-MP Sentenced to Jail for Defaming Ex-Government
A former Islamist parliamentarian, said to have close links to the Palestinian group - Hamas, was sentenced to six months in prison for allegedly defaming the former government, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Sheikh Abdel Monem Abu Zant, who is currently traveling outside the country, was sentenced in absentia by an Amman court, lawyer Imad Armuti told AFP.
"He has not been officially informed of the verdict and therefore it cannot be executed," Armuti said, adding that he will appeal the decision.
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 a 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.
Last August the government launched a series of measures against Hamas, arresting around 20 militants, shutting down the group's operations in the kingdom and finally expelling four key leaders - AMMAN (AFP)
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