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Prosecution witness testifies in Brotherhood leader’s trial

By Taylor Luck - Dec 15,2014 - Last updated at Dec 15,2014

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Monday heard the testimony of the prosecution’s first witness in the trial of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Saeed Baker.

The witness, a member of the General Intelligence Department, said Baker made inflammatory statements “undermining the state” in a pro-Gaza rally in August.

Meanwhile the defence team for Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said they are considering boycotting his upcoming trial.

According to Abdul Qader Khatib, a member of Bani Rsheid’s defence team, attorneys are considering boycotting the trial, which opens on Thursday, on the grounds that his charges — “harming the country’s relations with a foreign state” — do not fall under the jurisdiction of the SSC and should be pressed through a civilian court. 

Bani Rsheid’s defence team is expected to take a decision regarding participation by Tuesday.

Bani Rsheid and Baker are among some 20 Brotherhood members who have been reportedly detained by authorities over the past three months, 13 of whom have been referred to the SSC.

Authorities arrested Bani Rsehid outside the Brotherhood’s Amman headquarters last month for a Facebook post accusing the United Arab Emirates government of supporting “Zionist” foreign policies and indirectly sponsoring “terrorism”.

Making statements deemed harmful to Jordan’s ties with foreign states is a criminal offence under articles 3 and 7 of the recently amended Anti-Terrorism Law.

Bani Rsheid has maintained that his comments represented free expression of his political beliefs, protected under the Constitution, which authorities and the government refute. 

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