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Tobacco case suspects denied bail again

By JT - Oct 15,2018 - Last updated at Oct 15,2018

AMMAN – The State Security Court (SSC) on Monday refused anew to release on bail 16 people detained in connection with the tobacco case that the government referred to the court, tagged “an economic crime that harms the national economy”.

SSC president, Military Judge Col. Mohammad Afif adhered to a previous decision to deny any bail request for all the detainees, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

A special team of prosecutors was formed at the end of July to investigate suspects in the case, upon a decision made by the SSC attorney general, Brig. Gen. Hazem Majali.

The suspects are facing charges of carrying out acts that endanger public safety and security, and ones that “would change the country's economic entity or endanger the society’s basic conditions”, customs evasion and cheat on goods quality and general tax of sales evasion.

Earlier in September, the International Criminal Police Organisation issued an International Red Notice against Awni Mutee, a Jordanian businessman who reportedly fled the country to Lebanon in July, one day ahead of a crackdown on the alleged illegal tobacco manufacturing and smuggling factory.

Mutee’s reported escape triggered public outrage throughout the summer, amid assertions by the government to bring to justice all involved in the headline-grabbing case.

The case was initially referred to the prosecution office at the Jordan Customs Department (JCD), where the prosecutor general, according to a government statement, found that some of the crimes involved fall under the jurisdiction of the SSC, and in the final opinion decided that the JCD court lacks jurisdiction, especially since the details of the tobacco case are “interlaced”.

The Jordan Integration and Anti-Corruption Commission carried out its own investigation in the case and referred the file to its prosecution office. 





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