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Bani Rsheid’s defence team files bail request

By Taylor Luck - Nov 24,2014 - Last updated at Nov 24,2014

AMMAN — Defence attorneys representing Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Overall Leader Zaki Bani Rsheid have filed a bail request as dozens of lawyers lined up to join his defence team.

According to Abdul Qader Al Khatib, the defence team representing Bani Rsheid filed a request at the State Security Court (SSC) to release him on bail, with a response expected on Tuesday.

Bani Rsheid is currently awaiting trial at the SSC for “harming relations between Jordan and a foreign state” in comments deemed critical of the UAE.

Meanwhile, over 100 lawyers have joined Bani Rsheid’s defence team, Khatib said.

Saleh Armouti, former president of the Jordanian Bar Association, was appointed on Monday as the lead defence attorney for Bani Rsheid, whose legal team includes lawyers and activists from across the political spectrum.

Bani Rsheid was arrested late Thursday as he was leaving the Brotherhood’s Amman headquarters in connection with a Facebook post he published criticising the UAE’s decision to ban the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

In the post, Bani Rsheid accused the UAE of supporting terrorism and questioned the legitimacy of its leaders. He called for expelling the UAE from the Arab League and accused it of standing behind all sabotage and destruction in the Arab world. 

He has since defended the post as “free expression” and “political speech”, while the government denied that the arrest was politically motivated, highlighting that the Islamist leader violated the law and endangered the interests of Jordanians and the country. 

The architect of the resurgence and prolonged success of the Brotherhood’s conservative wing, Bani Rsheid is widely viewed as the leading figure guiding the movement’s day-to-day internal and external policies.

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