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Cassation Court upholds 12-year sentence in drug smuggling case

By Rana Husseini - May 26,2024 - Last updated at May 26,2024

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld a December 2022 State Security Court (SSC) ruling sentencing a man to 12 years in prison after convicting him of exporting illegal narcotics from Syria to the Kingdom in December 2021.

The court declared the defendant guilty of exporting illegal narcotics from Syria to Jordan on December 25.

The SSC handed the defendant a 15-year prison term for the charges and ordered him to pay JD10,000 in fines.

However, the court decided to reduce the sentence to 12 years in prison while maintaining the JD10,000 “to give the defendant a second chance in life”.

Court documents said the defendant and a second man, who drove the illegal narcotics into the Kingdom and did not appeal his verdict, decided to earn quick cash by smuggling drugs from Syria to Jordan.

“The defendant offered the driver of a truck to bring a shipment of apples from Syria in return for USD400,” court papers said.

On December 25, the driver of the truck was pulled over by law enforcement officers while entering Jordan, court papers said.

Upon searching the vehicle, court papers said, officers found 180,000 illegal pills hidden in secret compartments”.

The defendant contested the SSC’s ruling through his lawyer, who argued that his client should get a reduction in penalty “because he only transported the illegal narcotics and did not have any other intention, so he deserves a reduced sentence”.

The lawyer also argued that “his client is young and does not have a previous criminal record”.

Meanwhile, the SSC prosecution office asked the higher court to uphold the sentence and the fine imposed on the defendant.

The higher court maintained that the SSC had followed the proper procedures in issuing the sentences against the defendant.

“It was clear to the court that the defendant confessed willingly to transporting the illegal drugs,” the higher court said.

The Cassation Court bench comprised judges Yassin Abdullat, Nayef Samarat, Hammad Ghzawi, Qassem Dughmi and Mohammad Khashashneh.

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