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Suspect in Hattar’s murder identified

By Rana Husseini - Sep 25,2016 - Last updated at Sep 25,2016

Nahed Hattar

AMMAN – The authorities on Sunday identified the alleged killer of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar who was gunned down on the steps of the Palace of Justice in Abdali earlier in the day as Riad Ismaeel Abdullah, 49, a resident of east Amman.

Security sources said the suspected killer was known as an extremist.

Hattar, who sparked outrage after sharing a caricature that was considered insulting to religious belief, was apparently going to attend a court session.

The writer and political activist turned himself in in mid-August to the Amman governor after the government ordered an investigation into the caricature issue. He remained in custody until two weeks ago when he was released on bail.

On Sunday, he was walking to the court along with family members for matters related to the court proceedings, sources said.

In his initial confession to authorities, the suspected murderer said he carried out the alleged shooting because of the caricature that Hattar published on his Facebook page, according to media reports.

Witnesses at the site in front of the Palace of Justice, where Hattar was gunned down, described a chaotic scene that emerged after the shooting, around 9.30 am.

“I was helping a woman with some documents when we heard gunshots,” said a man who helps court goers prepare their official documents.

“I looked to my right and I saw the body of a man on the floor next to the courthouse steps so we immediately ran in the other direction fearing for our lives,” the man, who preferred not to be identified, told The Jordan Times.

Another man with the same profession said he was also busy helping a man with official documents, and said that he thought the gunshot noise was just firecrackers.

“It is really horrific.  I have been stationed here at the Palace of Justice since 1993.  This is the first time we encounter such an incident here,” the man, who also refused to identify himself, said.

Witnesses told the Jordan Times that the perpetrator turned himself in to police who were stationed at the Palace of Justice after committing the crime.

Hattar sparked outrage after sharing the caricature on his Facebook page last month depicting a bearded man in heaven, smoking and in bed with women, asking a figure resembling God to bring him wine and cashews.

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Comments

Pld Carman, definitely an IS ideology and Salafist moron.

To me the government is responsible for the crime, specially the prime minister and the interior minister who ordered that mr Hattar to be jailed, I'm as a Jordanian disappointed to the murder of one of our best writers, where are the security guards watching the main entrance ??

Great! Saves an expensive investigation and trial. Cut his hands then his head for crimes against humanity.

THAT THE ASSILIANT CARRIED OUT HIS BABARIC ACT OF TERROR ON SUNDAY SENDS EVEN A MUCH CHILE MASSAGE TO LOTS OF PEOPLE AND THE WORLD. I AM ASHAMED THAT THIS TYPE OF ACT IS HAPPENING IN A COUNTRY I HOLD VERY DEAR IN MY HEARTH.
THIS IS NOT THE JORDAN THAT I KNOW. THE STATE DEPARTMENT SHOULD ACT AND IN FACT IMPOSE ECONOMIC SANCTION UNTIL THERE IS AN OFFICIAL REPORT BY THE GOVERNMENT. MR TRUMP AND MRS CLINTON MUST TAKE A NOTE OF THIS AND I EXPECT THIS ISSUE ON TOMORROW'S DEBATE.

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT MR HATTAR SAID AND/OR POSTED THE FACT IS THAT IT IS NOT AGAINST ANY LAW I KNOW OF FROM AMMAN TO ANY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD. THIS IS ONE THOSE UNINTENDED EFFECTS OF JUNGLE LAWS AND JUSTICE. THIS TRAGIC CRIME WHICH NOW ADDS JORDAN AMONG COUNTRIES WHERE YOU MUST WATCH YOUR BACK IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN WHAT PEOPLE HAS BEEN THOUGHT TO BELIEVE IN, YOU COULD BE THE NEXT VICTIM. TODAY IS A SAD DAY FOR JORDAN AND ALL JORDANIANS WHO BELEIVE IN THE RULE OF LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND OBLIGATIONS. THIS IS THE SAME AS BARBARIC SHOOTINGS THAT WE HAVE IN USA. THERE IS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND THAT THIS CRIMINAL HAS BEEN RADICALISED AND SET IN MOTION BY THOSE WHO CHARGED THE VICTIM FOR RELIGIOUS CRIME FORGETTING THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATE AND RELIGION. NOW THAT THE ACCUSER HAS GOT HIS WISH, I DO NOT KNOW HOW IT CAN HELP JORDAN IN THE EYES OF THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA NEVER MIND THE COMMUNITY OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN JORDAN. I CAN NOT BELEIVE THAT JORDAN HAS THE MONEY AND RESOURCES TO TRY A CLAWN WHO IS TOYING WITH WITH INFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY AND IN FACT DOING WHAT MOST JOURNALITS DO TO TRIAL AND NOW DEATH. THIS IS A NEWS THAT WE DO NOT WANT TO SEND TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AT A TIME WE NEEDED THEIR SUPPORT MOST. YES, I WOULD NOT LIKE ANY PERSON TO MAKE MOCKREY OF MY RELIGION BUT ANT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT A CRIME AND SHOULD NOT BE ONE IN ANY SOCIETY WHERE ARE ARE DIFFERENT RELIGION AND FAITHS. IS THE GORVERNOR HAPPY NOW THAT HE HAS PLEASED HIS CLIENTS.

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