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.


Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 54 min 37 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined Arab states on Monday in condemning a decision by the United States to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Breaking decades of international consensus, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Saudi Arabia firmly rejected the decision and affirmed its position that Golan Heights was occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The declaration, made by the US, is a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the report said.

The US decision was a violation of Security Council resolutions 242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981, and would have devastating implications on the peace process in the Middle East, as well as security and stability in the region, Saudi Arabia’s official statement said.

Saudi Arabia called on all parties to respect the decisions of international legitimacy and the charter of the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that the decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory,

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.