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Journalist bailed, awaiting trial for ‘slander’ of top Brotherhood official

By Rana Husseini - Feb 15,2017 - Last updated at Feb 15,2017

AMMAN — Journalist Amjad Mualla, who is accused of defaming and slandering the deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Zaki Bani Irsheid, was released on bail on Wednesday.

Mualla was detained on January 30 after Bani Irsheid filed an official complaint of slander and defamation through social media.

“My client was released today on bail by Court of First Instance Judge Mayasa Obeidat,” lawyer Mahmoud Qteishat told The Jordan Times.

He added that Jordan Press Association President Tareq Momani “personally intervened and bailed out my client at his own volition”.

The bail was set at JD1,000 by Obeidat, according to Qteishat.

The first session is slated for February 20.

Momani, who followed up on the case and repeatedly tried to bail out Mualla, welcomed the journalist’s release.

“I am glad that he is finally out, because journalists should not be detained until the trial is over and a sentence has been issued,” Momani told The Jordan Times. 

The plaintiff’s attorney, Ibrahim Qatawneh told The Jordan Times in a recent interview that Mualla “began his wave of attacks against [Bani Irsheid] almost a week ago by accusing him of supporting Daesh and attacking him personally”.

“My client was really surprised by the number of accusations and slanderous material that was published on the defendant’s page, especially considering that he does not know him and has never met him,” Qatawneh said.

The lawyer added that his client “respects the press and its noble cause, but what was published on the defendant’s page related to my client was personal and slanderous”.

If convicted of the charge, Mualla could receive a maximum of three years in prison, according to Qatawneh.

 

The minimum sentence is three months, but could be replaced by a fine, the lawyer added.

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