AMMAN — Business tycoon Khalid Shahin and three former officials from the army-owned Development and Investment Projects (DIP) Fund returned around JD12 million to the state budget after they reached a deal with the State Security Court (SSC), a well-informed source said on Saturday.
The SSC announced that it restored an amount of money to the Treasury from Shahin, who was involved in a corruption case related to the Disi Water Conveyance Project feasibility study, and the construction of the Jordan Armed Forces Headquarters in the Dabouq neighbourhood.
Shahin and three other suspects in the case returned around JD12 million in cash and in the form of real estate, the source, who spoke under condition of anonymity, told The Jordan Times.
The SSC reached a conciliation deal with Shahin after months of negotiations, the source added.
Each one of the indicted paid a share in the deal, but in total, the amount stood at JD12 million, with Shahin paying over half of it, the source said.
The statement by the SSC did not mention the names of the three former officials involved in the case, but the source said they were former DIP Fund director Akram Abu Hamdan, accountant Firas Hindawi and financial adviser Ziyad Aqbani.
“They all paid a certain portion of the amount,” the source added, noting that he was not aware of how much each paid.
Shahin is serving the last two months of his a three-year sentence for bribery and corruption in the case related to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company expansion project.
“He will be released once he completes his term in prison on November 28,” the source said.
In August last year, SSC Prosecutor General Col. Raed Izmiqna charged Shahin with embezzlement, fraud and misuse of public funds. The three other officials were detained as part of the investigation over this case.
Earlier in 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) found there was enough evidence of corruption in the Disi project’s feasibility study to take legal action. The study was managed and conducted by the DIP Fund, which is affiliated with the military and “security agencies”.
The 2005 case started when the Cabinet asked the fund to prepare a study to assess the feasibility of the proposed project.
For that purpose, Abu Hamdan signed a contract with a British Virgin Islands-registered company operating under the name Corp Securities Ltd. The deal covered two stages: the conducting of the study at $1.95 million and the supervision of the project’s funding at $60 million.
When the company, which allegedly turned out to be a middleman for other companies, submitted its financial claims, it requested that the money be deposited in a Swiss bank account in the name of the Luxemburg-based Shahin Business & Investment Group, owned by Shahin.
In cooperation with financial experts, the ACC came to the conclusion that the rates were exaggerated and unreasonable.