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House panel okays lifting immunity of 6 MPs

By Raed Omari - Mar 12,2015 - Last updated at Mar 12,2015

AMMAN — The Lower House's Legal Committee on Thursday recommended that the parliamentary immunity of six MPs be lifted so that the judiciary can proceed with lawsuits citizens have filed against them.

The panel's recommendation came following a session on Thursday during which its members, most of them jurists, examined the judiciary's requests to lift the parliamentary immunity of MPs Ahmad Safadi (Amman, 3rd District), Qusai Dmeisi (Zarqa, 4th District), Mohammad Dawaimeh (Amman, 2nd District), Mirza Bollad (Zarqa, 1st District) and Motaz Abu Rumman (Shabab Al Wifaq list) to proceed with legal procedures in the lawsuits citizens have filed against them, which include charges of slander.

Another request from the State Security Court (SSC) to the House, submitted through the government, has also been referred to the Chamber, requesting the lifting of parliamentary immunity of Deputy Tarek Khoury (Zarqa, 1st District) on charges related to damaging the Kingdom's relations with other countries and criticising His Majesty King Abdullah's recent speech, according to the head of the panel, MP Mustafa Amawi. 

A lawsuit has been filed against Khoury at the SSC accusing him of insulting Jordanians in tweets he posted following His Majesty’s televised address to the nation last week. Khoury used the slogan raised by the King, “Be proud”, as a hashtag in Arabic and commented on several controversial issues related to the country’s dealings with Israel.

According to Paragraph A of Article 86 of the Constitution, the lifting of immunity has to be passed by an overwhelming majority of MPs in a full House session.

“No senator or deputy may be detained or tried during the currency of the sessions of the National Assembly unless the House to which he/she belongs decides by an absolute majority that there is sufficient reason for his/her detention or trial or unless he/she was arrested in flagrante delicto. In the event of his/her arrest in this manner, the House to which he/she belongs, shall be notified immediately,” the Basic Law stipulates.

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