Jordanian MP indicted for attempting to smuggle guns into Israel

The legislator’s immunity was lifted and he can face up to 15 years in prison.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Jordanian MP Imad Al-Adwan was indicted Tuesday in Jordan’s State Security Court for his attempt last month to smuggle hundreds of weapons and gold into Israel through the Allenby Crossing.

The pro-Hamas legislator’s immunity was lifted in a special session of parliament so he could be tried. The public prosecutor has now charged him with “exporting weapons four times with the intent to use them illegally, and carrying out actions that would disturb public order and threaten community security.”

While the indictment only mentions four weapons smuggling incidents, Israel’s Shabak says that in the last 14 months Al-Adwan used his diplomatic passport a dozen times to enable him to run all sorts of contraband into Judea and Samaria in his car. These included e-cigarettes, birds, pigeons and gold bars, as well as firearms.

When he was caught in April, he had 194 handguns, over a dozen assault rifles, ammunition and nearly 100 kg of gold in his possession that were allegedly meant for Palestinian terrorist groups. He had been searched on this occasion by customs agents, who were tipped-off shortly before his arrival.

Al-Adwan faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on both charges, based on Amman’s anti-terror laws. A Jordanian official told Sky News’ Arabic station that if a final verdict is filed against him, Jordan’s Constitution allows for him to be automatically removed from Parliament, without the need to be dismissed. Until then he can participate in its meetings. It was unclear if he could also vote on proposed laws.

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According to news site, the 35-year-old parliamentarian comes from one of the most well-known tribes in Jordan. A member of the legislature’s Palestine Committee, he is a harsh critic of Israel and of any normalizing of relations between his country and the Jewish state, despite the peace treaty they signed in 1994.

His motives for smuggling may have been mixed, however, as he admitted to Israeli interrogators that he had received large sums of money for his illicit work.

Following his arrest, Jordanian security detained several of Al-Adwan’s alleged accomplices in the kingdom, who were linked to this smuggling attempt as well as previous ones. Jordan’s Petra news agency reported that they had admitted their crimes to the authorities.

Israeli forces also arrested a number of suspected colleagues in Judea and Samaria following Al-Adwan’s detention.

He was returned to Jordan to stand trial after Amman put heavy pressure on Israel, with the promise to deal with him “harshly.”