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Former MP charged in election crime

By Khaled Neimat - Dec 13,2012 - Last updated at Dec 13,2012

AMMAN — The Amman prosecutor general on Thursday charged former MP Yihya Saud with three charges over his appearance at a press conference earlier this week in possession of what appeared to be thousands of voter identification cards.

The charges include holding voter IDs without proper legal justification, violating the Public Gatherings Law and offending a public agency.  

Saud stood before the prosecutor general on Thursday. The prosecutor cited the charges against the former controversial deputy.

The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) filed the lawsuit immediately after the incident as his alleged conduct is a crime under the 2012 Elections Law.

Photos of the former Amman MP during the press conference appeared on news websites, which quoted Saud as warning authorities that he would burn the voter IDs, if the government proceeded with a rumoured decision to hike prices of electricity.

The prosecutor general decided not to detain Saud pending further investigation into the case, according to a judicial source.

If convicted for this charge, Saud will spend between six months to two years in prison or pay between JD500 and JD1,000 or receive both penalties, according to Article 61 of the Elections Law.

On Wednesday, in the first ruling ever under the new Elections Law, the Irbid Court of First Instance sentenced two individuals, reportedly brothers of a former deputy from a northern district, to three months imprisonment, on charges of “manipulating” the electoral list in their district.

The ruling was made in absentia.

The manipulation took the form of holding a large number of voter cards during the process of registration for the January 23 polls, which started on August 7 and ended on October 15.

The IEC intervened and took the legal action accordingly.   

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