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Mon 30 May 2011 05:25 PM

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Jordan ministers resign over corruption case

Health and justice ministers embroiled in row over escaped tycoon convicted of bribery charges

Jordan ministers resign over corruption case
JORDANIAN MINISTERS: Jordan’s minister for health and justice have resigned after being embroiled in a controversy (Getty Images)

Jordan’s minister for health and justice have resigned after
being embroiled in a controversy over a fugitive businessman who fled the
country amid accusations of bribery.

The country’s news agency confirmed Monday that King
Abdullah had accepted the resignations of Health Minister Yassine Al Hasban and
Justice Minister Hussein Al Majali.

“The ministers tendered their resignations to Prime Minister
Marouf Al Bakhit on Thursday over a controversy involving the travel of a
business tycoon accused in a corruption scandal,” the news agency Petra said.

The two ministers resigned out of “moral responsibility” for
their part in allowing Khalid Shahin, who was serving a two-year prison term
for bribery, to leave the country for medical reasons.

Both ministers have denied any direct wrongdoing.

Mjali caused a blaze of controversy when he was appointed in
February after describing Israel as a "terrorist state that will be
destroyed" and calling for the release of Ahmed Deqamseh, a terrorist
serving a 25-year sentence in Jordan for killing seven Israeli school children
in 1997.

The two ministers were appointed after the dissolution of
the previous cabinet on the orders of King Abdullah, in a bid to quell
political uprisings in the Arab kingdom.

Education minister Wajih Oweis has been named as acting
health minister, while Mohammed Edeinat, the minister of state for cabinet
affairs, will assume the role of acting justice minister.