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Death sentence for two connected to Karak terror cell upheld

By Rana Husseini - May 27,2019 - Last updated at May 27,2019

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation upheld a February State Security Court (SSC) ruling, sentencing two men to death in connection with the Karak terror cell case that resulted in the death of 10 people in Karak Governorate in 2016.

In November, the SSC sentenced the two defendants to death, but decided immediately to reduce the sentence to life in prison, because “the two men were young and deserved a second chance in life”.

However, the Court of Cassation overturned the verdict a few months later, asking the SSC to sentence the two defendants to death.

“The defendants should not benefit from any penalty reductions because their actions caused fear, terror and chaos among Jordanians and tourists and caused multiple deaths,” the higher court ruled.

In February, the SSC adhered to the Court of Cassation’s request and handed the two defendants the death penalty.

Eight other defendants received prison terms ranging from three to 15 years in prison for their role in the terror attack that also left 34 people injured.

The defendants were standing trial on charges of plotting subversive acts that led to the death of people, manufacturing explosives, financing terrorist acts and joining armed terrorist groups.

The victims included seven security personnel, two Jordanian civilians and a Canadian national.

The charge sheet said that the defendants plotted to carry out terrorist acts around Jordan and started by attacking a police patrol in Karak Governorate, 140km south of Amman, followed by an attack on a police station and a shootout at Karak Castle.

Some of the security forces were killed as they attempted to arrest some of the group’s members in Karak, while the two citizens and the Canadian were killed during shootouts between the defendants and security forces, according to the charge sheet.

The defendants did not contest the death sentence imposed on them by the SSC in February.

Meanwhile, the higher court ruled that the SSC followed the proper proceedings when issuing a new sentence against the defendant and they deserve the death penalty.

The Court of Cassation judges comprised Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zu’bi, Yassin Abdullat, Nayef Samarat and Hamad Ghzawi.

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