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Jordanian Islamist Lawmakers Sent to Prison for Praising Zarqawi


A Jordanian military court has sentenced two Islamist lawmakers to prison for inciting sectarian strife by praising al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, at a family vigil following his death.

The court sentenced one lawmaker, Abu Fares, to two years in prison. The other lawmaker, Abu Sukkar, received a term of 18 months. A third Islamist lawmaker Jaafar al-Hourani was acquitted for lack of evidence.

The three legislators were arrested in June after visiting Zarqawi's family home in Jordan to offer condolences.

The court ruled that two lawmakers praised Zarqawi as a martyr during the wake, a comment the judges said undermined national unity.

The Jordanian-born militant leader was condemned by many in his home country after he masterminded suicide attacks on hotels in Amman last November that killed 60 people.

The defendants had argued they visited the family in line with Muslim tradition. The men say they do not support terrorism. Lawyers for the two convicted lawmakers say they will appeal the sentences.

Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq on June 7.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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