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SSC denies release on bail for seven suspects in tobacco case

By JT - Aug 30,2018 - Last updated at Aug 30,2018

The State Security Court on Wednesday rejects a petition to release on bail seven detainees being questioned in connection with the ‘tobacco case’ (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Wednesday refused to release on bail seven detainees arrested in connection with the “tobacco case”, as the court’s public prosecutor is still carrying out investigations, a court source said.

The SSC formed a special team of prosecutors to investigate suspects in the tobacco factory case, upon a decision by the court’s Attorney General Brig. Gen. Hazem Majali, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The suspects are charged with involvement in carrying out acts that endanger the society’s security, safety and economic resources and conducting acts that can change the economic entity of the country.

They also face charges related to customs evasion, fraud in the quality of goods and money laundering, according to the court’s prosecution, Petra added.

The tobacco factory case, which involves illegal manufacturing, and the faking and smuggling of cigarettes, has remained in the media spotlight for weeks.

SSC prosecutors have indicted some suspects in the case, but have not disclosed how many.

On Monday, the International Criminal Police Organisation issued an International Red Notice against Awni Mutee, a Jordanian businessman who reportedly fled the country to Lebanon in July, one day ahead of a crackdown on the alleged illegal tobacco manufacturing and smuggling factory.

Mutee’s reported escape triggered public outrage over the summer, amid assertions by the government to bring to justice all involved in the headline-grabbing case.

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