Jordan’s Senate Passes Sweeping Pardon Legislation, Extends Airport Agreement

In a decisive move, the Jordanian Senate has greenlit the sweeping 2024 general pardon law, echoing the mandate from the Lower House without any tweaks. This monumental draft encompasses a broad spectrum of transgressions, misdemeanors, and wrongdoings dating back to a pre-March 19th era, offering a clean slate by nullifying criminal charges and their attendant penalties, including fines and fees. This legislative stride, as reported by the authoritative Jordan News Agency, Petra, aims to foster a climate of forgiveness and redemption, albeit with 38 exceptions carefully carved out.

Crimes touching upon the bedrock of state security, the specter of terrorism, the menace of firearms, the scourge of illicit drugs, and the heinous trade of human trafficking remain firmly outside the ambit of pardon. Likewise, fines linked with income, sales taxes, and customs find themselves immune to the sweeping brushstrokes of amnesty.

However, the Senate’s purview wasn’t confined solely to matters of absolution. In a parallel development, the august body nodded in approval to a revised accord governing the resuscitation, augmentation, and administration of Queen Alia International Airport. This seminal agreement, initially inked between the Jordanian government and the International Airport Group company in 2007 for a quarter-century tenure, now sees its lifeline extended by an additional five years, pushing its expiration horizon to 2037.

Minister of State for Legal Affairs, Nancy Namrouqah, elucidated the rationale behind this elongation, framing it as part of a larger reconciliation wherein the investor relinquishes substantial financial claims against the government, amounting to millions of dinars. In exchange for this magnanimous gesture, the investor pledges a commitment to undertake pivotal expansion endeavors, injecting vitality into the veins of the airport’s infrastructure.

Namrouqah further unveiled the genesis of these financial disputes, attributing them to governmental breaches vis-ร -vis the civil aviation fee framework, the imposition of departure levies, and subsequent escalations thereof.

In a poignant coda to the proceedings, Senate President Faisal Fayez presided over a moment of silence, a reverential tribute to the departed former senator, Tareq Adeldeen, who breathed his last breath on that very Thursday. In this solemn interlude, the Senate paid homage to a stalwart of legislative corridors, underscoring the fraternity and camaraderie that transcends the ebbs and flows of political debates.

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