An exiled Palestinian lawmaker and political rival of President Mahmoud Abbas has been sentenced to prison and payment of fines for corruption.
Mohammed Dahlan was sentenced to a 3-year jail term and a fine payment of $16 million in absentia by an anti-corruption court in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, his lawyer Salameh Halaseh said Wednesday.
The conviction came just two days after Abbas lifted the immunity of five members of the Palestinian parliament, including Dahlan, exposing them to criminal prosecution. The other four are reportedly allied to Dahlan.
He lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates after being expelled from the Western-backed Palestinian Fatah Party in 2012.
His lawyer slammed the sentencing as part of attempts by Abbas, who also leads the secular Palestinian faction, to marginalize political rivals.
Another Dahlan attorney, Sevag Torossian, further described his conviction as a “cleansing exercise” within Fatah for Abbas.
Torossian further alleged that the case against his client had been in the making for years but the charges were struck down in 2015 when a Palestinian court ruled that Dahlan was immune from prosecution as a parliamentarian.
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