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Journalist detained over alleged slander of Islamist leader denied bail

By Rana Husseini - Feb 01,2017 - Last updated at Feb 01,2017

AMMAN — Amman Prosecutor General Rami Tarawneh on Tuesday refused to release on bail journalist Amjad Mualla, who is accused of defaming and slandering the deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Zaki Bani Rsheid.

Tarawneh turned down a bail request that was submitted by the journalist’s attorney and decided to keep him in custody, said the plaintiff’s attorney, Ibrahim Qatawneh.

Mualla was detained on Tuesday after Bani Rsheid filed an official complaint of slander and defamation through social media.

Tarawneh told The Jordan Times that a bail request was rejected and the defendant remains detained for a week pending further investigations.

“We are still in the investigation process and I can not reveal any information other than that the defendant published items on his Facebook page that were considered offensive to Bani Rsheid,” Tarawneh said.

Qatawneh told The Jordan Times that Mualla “began his wave of attacks against his client almost a week ago by accusing him of supporting Daesh and attacking him personally”.

“My client was really surprised by the amount of accusations and slanderous material that was published on the defendant’s page, especially 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 that is related to my client was personal and slanderous”.

Jordan Press Association President Tareq Momani said he was following up on the case all day on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, the prosecutor refused to release our fellow journalist on bail. We will keep trying until we hopefully manage to release him,” Momani told The Jordan Times.

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

 

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

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