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Jordanian Leader Sentenced

May 12, 1998

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ A military court sentenced a Jordanian opposition leader to nine months in prison Tuesday for inciting violent protests against a threatened U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

Leith Shubeilat’s lawyer said he would appeal and suggested the verdict was politically motivated.

Shubeilat, a former member of Jordan’s parliament, had pleaded innocent to charges of provoking illegal protests Feb. 20 in the southern desert town of Maan.

One person was killed and 24 wounded in the two-day demonstrations against a U.S. and British threat to attack Iraq if it did not grant full access to U.N. weapons inspectors. Some protesters opened fire on police, wounding several officers.

Jordan’s government had banned such protests.

Shubeilat has often sided with Muslim fundamentalists opposed to King Hussein’s pro-Western style and his 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

In 1992, Shubeilat was sentenced to 20 years in prison for leading a militant group that plotted to topple the king. He was pardoned the same year.

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