Maan residents gather in solidarity with former mayor
Reported by Muath Freij | Dec 25,2011 | 22:39
AMMAN — Around 200 people from the southern city of Maan came to Amman on Saturday to express support for former Amman mayor Omar Maani, who is being detained on charges of “failing to perform his official duties”.
The Maan residents, who gathered at a tent set up outside Maani’s father’s home in the Shmeisani neighbourhood, expressed dissatisfaction with the Amman Court of First Instance’s rejection of multiple bail petitions filed by the former mayor’s defence team.
The court has turned down four bail requests filed by Maani’s lawyers after Deputy Attorney General Judge Rami Salah on December 13 ordered that he be detained for 14 days at the Juweideh Correctional Centre in south Amman, pending further investigation into the case.
Maani, who served as mayor between 2006 and 2011, was indicted on the backdrop of a probe into several cases of suspected corruption at the Greater Amman Municipality during his tenure.
Deputy Khalid Fanatsah (Maan, 1st District) called on the court to grant Maani bail so that he can defend himself.
“I believe that the judiciary is honest and just. I am against corruption, but all we ask for is to let Maani defend himself,” he told The Jordan Times yesterday.
Abdul Razaq Maani, a former adviser at the Prime Ministry, said the gathering of Maan residents illustrated their commitment to expressing themselves in a civilised manner.
“We came to express our point of view without holding demonstrations in the streets,” he stated.
He also claimed that the former mayor is innocent as he does not have a history of corruption.
“He was appointed as Amman mayor and did not even seek the job.”
Mazen Kreishan, one of Maani’s supporters, expressed anger over a report in an Arabic newspaper that accused the former mayor of corruption — a crime with which he has not been charged.
“One paper published false reports accusing Maani of corruption, which is not one of the court’s charges. These reports will harm Maani’s reputation and lead people to believe that he is corrupt,” he said.
Former Maan governor Khaled Shamri said Maani is much beloved in Maan as he has put much of the wealth he accumulated as a businessman towards supporting the city.
“He also supported the young generation of Maan,” he added.
Khaled Bazayaa suggested that the court could grant Maani bail but bar him from travelling abroad.
Kreishan said the group will not remove their tent until Maani is released from prison.
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