Over 40 questioned in phosphate scandal

Jordanian parliament to debate on corruption case

GMT 10:54 2012 Wednesday ,07 March

Arab Today, arab today Jordanian parliament to debate on corruption case

The Jordanian parliament
Amman – Osama Arrantissi

The Jordanian parliament Amman – Osama Arrantissi The Jordanian parliament will discuss Wednesday what has been described as one of the most serious corruption cases in the history of the country. The scandal revolves around the privatisation process of Jordanian phosphate. The prosecution's  leaked report which recommended charging former Prime Minister Maarouf Al-Bakhit and members of his privatisation committee, including Bassem Awadallah, minister of finance and planning, with complicity in the case.
The report revealed that Kamil Limited (KL), the company which owns 37 per cent of the phosphate company's shares paid 78 million dinars for them and regained 25 million. One of the suspicions surrounding  the case is that the company does not belong to the Government of Brunei as it claims to.
The report recommended sending members of the privatisation committee in Al-Bakhit's first government to trial. Members include justice minister Abd Al-Shakhania, finance minister Ziad Freiz, trade and industry minister Sherif Al-Zoabi and minister of planning Soheir Al-Ali. Former minister of finance Dr. Mohammed Abo Hammour has also been charged and will go to trial regarding his position as head of the committee.
Some Parliament members started earlier to leak some parts from the report Parliamantry investigation committee, while the report is supposed to be officially released today according to the parliament's general secretary.
Arabstoday sources said that parliamantery committee members held a hearing where they questioned over 40 former senior officials. The committee found the the deal was unconstitutional on part of the government as it was signed without being approved by the parliament.
Another controversial point is expected to be the reasons behind former minsiter Hammour's authorisation of a supplementary deal which gave the foreign company the right to invest in phosphate reserves anywhere in Jordan. The move would subsequently monopolise the market in the company's favour. A final point would be the phosphate company's share prices ($4 per share) which the committee considered "unfair".

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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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