Jordan commutes eight al-Qaeda death verdicts to life imprisonment
Jordan's State Security Court (SSC) on Wednesday reduced the death penalty passed on eight al-Qaeda-linked suspects to life imprisonment, judicial sources said, dpa reported.
In April 2006, the SSC sentenced to death nine defendants after finding them guilty of plotting a chemical attack on the premises of the General Intelligence Department, the Prime Ministry and the US embassy in Amman.
Four of the suspects, including the then leader of al-Qaeda branch in Iraq, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US airstrike inside Iraq in June 2006.
One of al-Zarqawi's aides, Azmi Jayyouci, and four other suspects were arrested in 2004 and condemned to death by the SSC.
The verdicts were overturned in May 2007 by the Court of Cassation, the country's highest appellate court, which cited "invalid interrogation procedures".
"The SSC on Wednesday decided to commute the verdicts after amending the Weapons and Ammunition Law which implied a reduction of the penalty from death to life imprisonment," judicial sources said.