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PA minister's corruption trial postponed again

Sept. 29, 2011 4:09 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2011 7:03 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The trial of the Ramallah-based government's Minister of Agriculture was postponed for the third time on Thursday, at the request of defense lawyers.

Minister Ismail Daiq faces charges of corruption in public office at the newly instituted anti-corruption court in Ramallah.

His defense lawyer has requested several delays of the hearing in order to give more time for preparation of the case, a Ma'an correspondent said.

The hearing has been rearranged for Oct. 6, and is being presided over by judges Husein Obeidat and Bilal Abu Hantash and Izz Ad-Din Shahin.

His case was referred to court by the anti-corruption commission in August.

The commission said in July it was investigating a number of ministers over corruption charges, none of them identified, and Daiq is the first serving minister in the PA to be transferred to trial.

The body was founded last December under an anti-corruption law enacted in June 2010, and billed as a major step toward transparency following a series of corruption scandals and the dismissal of President Mahmoud Abbas's chief of staff.
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