Middle East

Jordan jails king's fugitive uncle for corruption

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks during the opening session of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa on May 25, 2013 on the shores of the Dead Sea, 55 kms southeast of Amman. AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI

AMMAN: A Jordanian court sentenced a fugitive uncle of King Abdullah II on Wednesday to 37.5 years in jail with hard labour and a massive fine on two charges of abuse of office, a judicial official said.

The court ordered Walid Kurdi, who was tried in absentia, to pay a 284.4 million dinars ($401 million/306 million euro) fine, the official told AFP.

Kurdi is married to Princess Basma, sister of Abdullah's father, the late king Hussein.

He is the former CEO of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Co, one of the world's largest suppliers.

"Kurdi, who is on the run now in Britain, was convicted of abuse of office in two cases related to sales and shipping deals, estimated at around 31 million dinars," the official said without elaborating.

In January, the court ordered Kurdi's assets frozen on suspicion of corruption.

Last year, a court sentenced former spy chief Mohammed Dahabi to 13 years in jail with hard labour and ordered him to pay a 21-million-dinar ($29-million/22 million euro) fine after convicting of corruption.

Fighting corruption is one of the main challenges identified by the king to meet demands of Jordanians for sweeping reforms.





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