World Bulletin/News Desk
Zaki Bani Arshid, the deputy leader of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, demanded a civilian trial on Thursday during the first session of his military trial in which he faces charges of "harming Jordan's relations with a foreign state."
On Thursday, Jordan's State Security Military Court postponed trial proceedings to early next week.
During Thursday's court session, Bani Arshid, who has been in custody since last month, said he had initially refused to attend the session to protest the "unconstitutionality" of the military trial, saying he had been brought to the courtroom involuntarily.
He said any ruling by the court would be "illegitimate" since, he asserted, he should be tried in accordance with civilian – not military – law.
Jordanian law allows civilian prosecutors to refer lawsuits to their military counterparts if the case in question involves charges related to terrorism, drugs or "insulting a friendly state."
Bani Arshid was detained last month after he publicly described the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a "top sponsor of terrorism."
His remarks came after the UAE officially designated scores of Islamist movements – including the Muslim Brotherhood – as "terrorist" organizations.
Also included on the list were the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Yemen's Shiite Houthi movement and Egypt's Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
The UAE joined Saudi Arabia and Egypt in branding of the decades-old Brotherhood – from which ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi hails – a "terrorist" group.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have become the chief supporters of Egypt's army-backed government following Morsi's ouster by the military in July of last year.
Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2014, 15:03