File - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen flashes the V-sign in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Dec. 18, 2006. (AP/Kevin Frayer)
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Exiled rival to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammad Dahlan, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison Wednesday on corruption charges, his lawyer said.Dahlan's lawyer condemned the sentencing as part of Abbas' attempts to sideline political rivals.Sevag Torossian, another lawyer for Dahlan, called the conviction a "cleansing exercise" for Abbas, who has sought to sideline perceived rivals in Fatah.The conviction came two days after Abbas lifted the immunity of five members of the Palestinian Parliament, including Dahlan, opening them up to prosecution.
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