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Former Jordanian MP claims website hacked

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by Jordan Times newspaper on 5 September

[Unattributed report: "Former MP claims his website was hacked"]

Amman (JT) -Former MP Ahmad Oweidi Abbadi on Tuesday told the State Security Court (SSC) that "hackers" had entered his website and used it.

Abbadi, who pleaded not guilty during his opening trial last month, is charged with undermining the country's reputation, belonging to an illegal organization and distributing illegal pamphlets.

The former MP was arrested on May 3 following a complaint filed by Interior Minister Eid Fayez over the content of a statement he published on the Internet in April criticizing Jordan and its officials, including the interior minister.

The statement involves an open letter in English addressed to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which was posted on the website of the Jordanian National Movement (JNM), which is chaired by Abbadi.

The letter, dated April 30, accuses senior government officials of corruption and claims the country is! suffering a setback in democratic freedoms, particularly freedom of the press and the "abuse of detainees".

Testifying for the prosecution, Firas Noureddine Abu Gharbeih, director of the applications and IT department at Batelco, told the court that "Jeeran" was the host company of the website on which the information was published.

Abbadi subscribed to the company's Internet services in March 2006 and signed the contract, which included his details and address, Abu Gharbeih told the court.

Another witness from Jeeran, said the company director had asked her to enter the data required for the JNM website.

The data was downloaded on a CD and handed to the prosecutor general during yesterday's session.

Abbadi will be tried separately at the Amman Court of Conciliation on charges of slander and violating laws governing e-mail practices.

Retrial slated for Sunday

Meanwhile, the SSC will hold a retrial on Sunday for Mohammad Hassan, who! was sentenced in absentia last month on charges of plotting acts that undermine Jordan's relations with another country and subjecting the Kingdom to hostile acts.

The authorities apprehended the suspect on August 3 while he was trying to leave the country.

Security sources said the police checked his identity and discovered that he was wanted by judicial authorities.

Hassan and two other defendants, who were tried in absentia on the same charges, were handed a five-year prison term each.

Two other suspects, Zuhair Hamdan and Nidal Salem, both 35, were first handed three-year jail terms, but the tribunal decided to reduce the sentences to one year and eight months "to give the defendants a second chance in life".

The prosecution had accused the men of recruiting suicide bombers to fight US-led forces in Iraq in November 2006.

However, the two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them in earlier court sessions, claiming their confessions were extracted under torture and duress.

Hamdan and Salem went to Syria in November 2006 with Hassan and the two fugitives to make contact with recruiters, and were apprehended when they returned to Jordan, according to the charge sheet.

The prosecution charge sheet also said the defendants were involved in recruiting men with "jihadist" thoughts to send to special training camps in Syria to prepare them to fight in Iraq on behalf of Al-Qa'idah.

Three of the recruited men volunteered to launch suicide attacks in Iraq, according to the charge sheet.

South Shouneh trial opens Monday

Also on Monday, the SSC will try seven other suspects, of whom three are still at large.

The four were arrested after the riot! s which took place in South Shouneh in June resulted in the death of a 40-year-old man and the injury of four others.

The man died as the suspects clashed with policemen who were escorting officials who wanted to shut down unlicensed water wells.

The SSC charged the four with plotting to carry out terrorist acts that led to the death of one person, causing damage to private and public transport vehicles, and illegal possession of automatic weapons.

The incident took place on the third day of a government campaign to retrieve state property taken illegally by some residents and to enforce the law in several areas of the Kingdom.

Source: Jordan Times, Amman, in English 5 Sep 07


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