Turkey extradites corruption fugitive Mutee to Jordan

Jordanian security police stand guard outside a court in Amman, in this November 13, 2018 photo. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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Turkey extradites corruption fugitive Mutee to Jordan

  • Awni Mutee extradition is a win for the Jordanian leadership, as people have been protesting about taxes, unemployment, price rises and austerity measures

AMMAN: A Jordanian businessman wanted in connection with tax evasion and customs violations amounting to 155 million Jordanian dinars ($218.6 million) has been extradited from Turkey, a diplomatic source confirmed to Arab News on Tuesday.
Authorities allege that Awni Mutee was operating factories that illegally manufactured cigarettes, selling them in Jordan and smuggling them overseas.
Jordanian media, citing an Interpol Red Notice, reported that Mutee was wanted on six charges including carrying out acts that endanger public safety and security and carrying out acts that would change the country’s economic entity or endangers society’s basic conditions.
“We are happy to help a brotherly country in its fight against corruption and we are especially concerned about the effects of criminals who are behind the sale of drugs… to young people,” Turkey’s Ambassador to Jordan Marat Karajuz told Arab News. “This is a problem both in Jordan and Turkey and we are happy to help.”
His extradition is a win for the Jordanian leadership, as people have been protesting about taxes, unemployment, price rises and austerity measures. October demonstrations prompted King Abdullah to pledge a war on corruption. Jordanian lawmaker Nabil Gheshan said he had thanked the king.
“I told his majesty that bringing Awni Mutee will help produce a major breakthrough for many young Jordanians who are complaining about the current situation, and the king replied that now the job is for government institutions to do their work.”
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz had earlier told Parliament that “no unresolved corruption case will be closed under his administration,” according to Gheshan.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 23 May 2019
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.