Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Fertile Crescent

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Fertile Crescent

Article excerpt

Jordan Parliament Seeks Chalabi Extradition

According to the Aug. 18 Arab News, 21 Jordanian members of parliament have called on the United States to extradite Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi, one of the main proponents of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, to serve out a 22-year Jordanian prison sentence for fraud. In the 1980s, Chalabi built and lost a banking empire in Jordan. After fleeing the country in 1989, he was convicted in absentia of fraud and embezzling $288 million from Petra Bank into Swiss bank accounts.

The 21 MPs, citing additional charges of defrauding the central bank and Petra clients of $900 million, want the U.S. to extradite Chalabi via Interpol in order to face a new trial. According to Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher, Chalabi also may be guilty of financial irregularities in Switzerland and Lebanon.

Syria Revokes Paper's License

According to an Aug. 5 press release from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Syrian government on July 31 closed the privately owned satirical weekly Al-Domari. The official explanation for the closure was that the paper-the first privately owned newspaper allowed to publish in Syria in nearly 40 years-had failed to publish for three months, which violates Syrian press law. …

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