Jordan top Islamist pleads not guilty in corruption trial

Jordan top Islamist pleads not guilty in corruption trial

 AMMAN, Jan 12, 2010 (AFP) – Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Said pleaded not guilty to corruption-related charges at a court in Amman on Tuesday, a judicial official said.

"Said and six other members of the movement pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of abuse of power, negligence and violating the law in the work of the Islamic Centre Society charity, which is the financial arm of the Brotherhood," the official said.

"Seventeen other members pleaded not guilty to the same charges last month."

The trial was adjourned until January 21.

In 2006, the government suspended the administrative board of the charity, founded in 1965, over suspected corruption and appointed a committee to run the society, which runs several orphanages, schools and social centres in Jordan.

"It’s a politically motivated case. It has no legal foundation," the group’s lawyer Hekmat Rawashdeh told AFP.

"The government is simply trying to control the charity and it has no evidence. We will provide proof to the court that the accusations are false."

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1942, plays a key role in the country’s political life through its Islamic Action Front (IAF), which is the main opposition party in the kingdom.


© Copyright AFP 2010.