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Iraq asks Jordan for Chalabi pardon

[JURIST] Jordan's King Abdullah [official website] announced Thursday that he was willing to review the 1992 conviction of Ahmad Chalabi [BBC profile], sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years of hard labor for embezzling funds from Petra Bank, which Chalabi founded during a long residence in Jordan. The bank's 1989 collapse shook up Jordan's financial system. Chalabi, once a controversial Iraqi opposition leader and staunch US ally, was recently named as one of four deputy prime ministers [JURIST report] in Iraq's new elected government, a development leading Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [BBC News profile] to ask Jordan for a pardon. King Abdullah has made no promises, however, and has stated that he would require millions of dollars of the embezzled funds - said to total som $300M - to be returned. Chalabi once faced counterfeiting charges [JURIST report] in Iraq but those were later dropped [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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