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Former Jordan official of Palestinian origin sued for TV comments

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday November 1, 2006

Amman- A former Jordanian government official of Palestinian origin was sued Wednesday for saying Palestinians are politically underrepresented in the Kingdom's hierarchy. The plaintiff, Ahmad Jedayeh, said he was suing Adnan Abu Odeh - former chief of the Royal Court and aide de camp of the late king Hussein - on two counts: fanning ethnic unrest and laisse Majeste (tarnishing the King's image).

Adnan Abu Odeh appeared last week in a special lengthy interview with al-Jazeera, in which he called for granting Jordanians of Palestinian origin increased political participation, saying that they make up around 60 per cent of the population.

That cast doubt on the declared official percentage of 43 per cent. About 35 per cent, or 1.7 million of the 5.8-million Jordanian population, are still considered Palestinian refugees.

When asked about King Abdullah II's efforts in favour of the Palestinian cause, he replied "we need deeds not words."

The remarks of Abu Odeh, who had served as an intelligence officer and climbed up the political ladder since the early 1970s, angered many indigenous Jordanians.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency