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Former premier drops case against web-based satirist charged with defamation

By Omar Obeidat - Sep 16,2015 - Last updated at Sep 16,2015

AMMAN –– Omar Zorba, labelled as a social media satirist, who was detained on Tuesday after being charged by the Amman prosecutor of defamation against the family of former prime minister Nader Dahabi, will be released on Thursday as the ex-premier decided to drop the lawsuit.

The legal action was taken against Zorba over an article he wrote on his Facebook account on the wedding party of Amjad Dahabi, the son of the former prime minister.

Monther Hamdan, the lawyer of the Dahabi family, told The Jordan Times over the phone that Nader Dahabi had decided to drop the case on grounds of the young writer’s personal conditions. 

Amjad filed a lawsuit against Zorba some three months ago after the satirist posted an article on and a video of a wedding reception of the Dahabis, an act the family considered to be insulting and violated their privacy rights,  according to Hamdan. 

In the article, which was posted on his Facebook page on June 7, Zorba claimed that the wedding was made at one of Amman’s most prestigious hotels at a cost of JD500,000 and that Lebanese pop singer Ragheb Alameh was paid JD100,000 for singing for half an hour. 

The post attracted over 41,000 likes and 6,400 comments and was shared by over 3,200 Facebook users. 

Nader Dahabi wrote on his Facebook page that he will accompany his son Amjad to court on Thursday to end the legal action against Zorba and that he will drive the satirist home. 

“I will go by myself to the detention centre to have Zorba released and drive him home. I will even ask him to be a friend on his Facebook page,” the former premier said in the post. 

Hamdan confirmed the Facebook page is the official  personal account of Dahabi. 

Zorba, 30, is followed by over 300,000 people on Facebook and over 3,000 on Twitter. 

Hamdan told The Jordan Times Wednesday that the prosecutor charged the satirist with more than one crime according to the Cybercrime Law. 

Charges include defamation and slander, the lawyer said. 

Hamdan said the article included incorrect information and attracted insulting comments, adding the writer violated the privacy of the Dahabi family when posted a video of the party. 

Such an act and comments contradict the traditions of the country and Jordanian society, said the lawyer. 

He noted that family was also requesting financial compensation for the damage allegedly caused by the post. 

“Amjad felt he was insulted and emotionally harmed by the article,” Hamdan said, referring to the groom, whose father was prime minister between 2007 and 2009. 

Hamdan rejected as baseless allegations that Zorba was jailed because the Dahabi family is influential, stressing that Dahabi filed the case as a citizen entitled to seek his rights through the judiciary. 

He noted that the Dahabi family will also be suing six other persons and electronic news websites for defamation. 


Followers of Zorba posted on Wednesday that the writer would be released on bail Thursday. 

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