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MPs refer to prosecution suspected graft cases involving former ministers
By Jassar Al Tahat - Apr 18,2017 - Last updated at Apr 18,2017
Lawmakers are seen during a session on Tuesday (Petra photo)
AMMAN — A sweeping House majority on Tuesday voted to refer three cases of suspected corruption involving three former ministers of agriculture to the attorney general.
The decision was made as MPs examined reports by the Audit Bureau covering the period 2009-2015, and recommendations by the House Financial Committee, which studied the report.
Other than the three cases related to the Agriculture Ministry, the Lower House decided to refer the rest of the suspected graft cases to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh described Tuesday's two meetings as "the most important sessions so far” in the current Lower House.
MPs lamented the “abundance” of corruption suspicion in the Audit Bureau’s reports. MP Mustafa Yaghi (Balqa) highlighted the "huge amount of corruption” in the bureau’s reports and urged fellow MPs to use their constitutional power to refer ministers suspected of having practised corruption to the attorney general.
Legislators like Insaf Khawaldeh (Tafileh) and Fawaz Zu'bi (Irbid,2nd District) blamed the graft alleged in the reports for the “huge public debt and budget deficit”.
for Deputy Mustafa Assaf (Amman, 5th District), acting on the reports is one way to regain the public. “The current economic situation does not allow any procrastination,” he told his peers, and was joined by MP Nawaf Mualla (Zarqa, 2nd District) who urged referring “at least one of the ‘corrupt’ to prosecution to prove our seriousness”.
MP Ramadan Hneiti (Amman, 4th District) said: “We will make people happy when we put violators behind bars.”
Deputy Khaled Awad (Amman, 3rd District) suggested sharing the Audit Bureau’s reports with the public “so that people would see the magnitude of the catastrophe”.
Meanwhile, MPs urged the government to be more responsive to graft-related queries filed by the lawmakers seeking answers.
According to MP Ibrahim Abusayyid (Balqa), “The number of queries on corruption has totalled 6,118 and the government responded only to 3,947.”
The speaker adjourned the session after the voting till Sunday morning.
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