Politician Pulls Gun on Opponent on TV Talk Show

Monday, July 9th, 2012


MMAN, Jordan (AP) — A Jordanian lawmaker is being investigated after pulling a gun on his opponent in a live TV talk show, a prosecutor said Monday.

Mohammed Shawabka pointed his pistol at Mansour Seif-Eddine Murad after the former guerrilla-turned-politician called him a “mafia thief” during a prime-time debate late Thursday covering Jordanian politics and the Syria’s uprising. The debate was aired on the private Jordanian Josat satellite station.

“He was going to shoot me and he should be punished for that,” said Murad, an outspoken activist affiliated with Arab nationalist groups who support what they consider to be Syrian President Bashar Assad’s defiance of Western “colonialism.”

He said he filed a complaint against Shawabka at Amman’s First Instance Court earlier Monday, accusing him of attempted murder and defamation.

Shawabka declined comment.

An Amman prosecutor confirmed that the case was received and that the court will soon decide if there is enough evidence to bring charges.

Political debate shows are a popular feature on Arabic-language satellite television and some hosts frequently book guests with radically opposed views and reputations for volatility. Exchanges of insults are common, shoving matches not unheard-of.

The prosecutor said the use of a firearm meant there was potentially a serious charge, if not attempted murder.

“Had he pointed the gun at Mr. Murad’s head, it would’ve surely been a good case of attempted murder,” the prosecutor said, insisting on anonymity because he is not allowed to comment on a court case. Video of the fight does not appear to show Shawabka taking aim.

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