General Mohammad al Dahabi, the former head of the powerful Jordanian intelligence, was sentenced Sunday to 13 years in prison for corruption. The officer, who headed the intelligence from 2005 to 2009, was convicted of money laundering, embezzlement and abuse of power. The Amman court has also ordered him to return US$ 30 million.
It is the first major trial conducted under the anti-corruption campaign launched after a series of protests inspired by the Arab Spring. Mohammed al-Dahabi was arrested in February 2012 when inspectors from the Central Bank of Jordan took an interest in transactions he was involved and in which millions of dollars transferred through his account.
The case was held by a civil court, which is unprecedented in Jordan. The few officials, who were tried so far in the kingdom, were prosecuted by special military courts, a method criticized by human rights activists.
General Dahabi told his supporters he was innocent.