Jordan’s former spy chief Mohammad Al Dahabi given over 13-year sentence

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Amman: Jordan’s former intelligence chief has been given a 13-year and three months jail sentence and a fine of $30m.

Mohammad Al Dahabi was found guilty of charges including embezzlement and abuse of office on Sunday.

It was the harshest sentence in years against such a high-profile personality in Jordan.

Presiding judge Nashaat Akhras also demanded in court that defendant Mohammed al-Dahabi pay 21 million Jordanian dinars ($29.6 million) in fines to the state and return money he allegedly laundered and embezzled during his 2005-2008 tenure as head of Jordanian intelligence. The judge said the amount is estimated at 24 million dinars ($34 million).

Al Dahabi was arrested in February, when inspectors from the Central Bank of Jordan suspected transactions worth millions of dollars had gone through his bank account.

The rare case against such a high profile official is meant to show Jordan’s seriousness in efforts to tackle graft and corruption — a demand voiced in recent street protests.

In 2003, Jordan sentenced another ex-intelligence chief to eight years in jail for forgery of state documents and abuse of office. Sameeh al-Batikhi was released after serving his prison term.

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