Maani’s legal team weighs options after 4th bail request rejected

Jordan Times

Maani’s legal team weighs options after 4th bail request rejected

by Khaled Neimat | Dec 19, 2011 | 23:50

AMMAN — Former Amman mayor Omar Maani’s defence team said on Monday that they would consider filing his next bail petition at the Court of Appeal after the Amman Court of First Instance rejected a fourth request to free him.

According to Maani’s lawyer, Mohammad Nsour, the legal team is now looking into alternatives in order to have Maani, who served as mayor from 2006 to 2011 and is being held on charges of failing to perform his official duties, released from custody.

Last week, Deputy Attorney General Judge Rami Salah ordered the detention of the former mayor for 14 days at the Jweideh Correctional Centre in south Amman, pending further investigation into six cases of corruption suspected to have taken place on his watch. He was transferred to Rmimeen prison in north Amman on Saturday.

According to Nsour, the defence team will have to wait until the attorney general sends the case to court to submit evidence that proves the official’s innocence.

“We cannot intervene, at present, in the investigation, but we are attending all questioning sessions with our client,” he added.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor investigating the cases ordered the detention of businessman George Abu Khader yesterday, after he failed to answer a summon calling him and several former senior Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) officials in for questioning.

Abu Khader is the owner of Al Mutakamilah, a bus operator that was a partner of GAM until the government disbanded the company’s board earlier this year and appointed a committee to manage its affairs amid financial disputes with the municipality.

The municipality acquired a 20 per cent stake in the company upon its establishment, drawing fire from critics who argued that GAM could not be both a regulator and an investor at the same time. A source has told The Jordan Times that Maani is mainly indicted on the backdrop of this particular case. Several alleged corruption cases have been investigated by the House, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the attorney general’s office.

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