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Thu 23 Aug 2012 11:08 AM

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Jordan paralympians charged with sex offences

Ruler King Abdullah has taken a personal interest in the case, embassy officials said

Jordan paralympians charged with sex offences
Jordan paralympians charged with sex offences
King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) has issued a statement voicing its regret after three members of the country’s paralympic squad have been charged with sex offences while training in Northern Ireland ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics.

The two wheelchair-bound power lifters and a trainer were arrested on Monday evening and accused of sexual offences involving two women and two underage girls, a court heard.

"The Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) deeply regrets hearing of these charges and treats allegations of this nature with the utmost seriousness because we have a zero tolerance on any misconduct," the JOC said in a statement on Wednesday through the Petra Official News Agency.

"The JOC has full confidence in the British justice system and will remain in close contact with the Jordan Paralympic Committee which has been cooperating with the Northern Irish authorities in their investigation," the statement added.

"We are following developments closely through the Jordan Embassy in the UK which is providing consular support to the delegation on the ground."

King Abdullah has taken a personal interest in the case, a representative of the Jordanian embassy in London said during the proceedings in Coleraine, County Derry.

Weight lifter Omar Sami Qaradhi was charged with three counts of sexual assault and one of voyeurism on Wednesday. Two of the alleged assaults were against children.

His colleague Motaz Al-Junad faced one sexual assault charge. Trainer Faisal Hammash was charged with two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual acts. The alleged offences took place between August 16 and August 20, the court was told.

The 19-strong Jordanian squad was one of several from the Middle East and Africa training in Northern Ireland's Antrim Forum sports centre ahead of the London games, which are due to start on August 29.

The team was due to leave for London on Wednesday but it was not clear whether the three accused would join them.

The Jordanian embassy representative told the court her country would provide guarantees the men would return from bail to face trial.

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Rashid 7 years ago

Pride of their nation. One hopes they get the appropriate and severe Islamic punishment back home.