Jordanian MPs voted to lift Odwan’s legal immunity on Sunday, paving the way for his trial at the State Security Court.
The Speaker of Parliament, Ahmed Al-Safadi, said the decision was made after a request from the State Security Court Prosecution and a vote by MPs.
The vote to lift his immunity was conducted during a closed-door session that even the government was asked not to attend.
In press statements following the session, Lower House Speaker Ahmed Al-Safadi said the decision to lift Odwan’s immunity was taken upon a request from the SSC, which looks into cases related to terrorism, security and smuggling.
An official Jordanian source said all necessary measures have been taken to refer Odwan to the SSC after he had his legal immunity lifted.
The source, who requested anonymity, said the decision to refer Odwan and the other suspects in the case to the court was based on the results of investigations conducted by Jordanian authorities, which had sufficient evidence, including confessions of those involved in the case of repeated “arms smuggling and trade in collaboration with the MP.”
Odwan was arrested on April 22 for allegedly trying to smuggle weapons and gold into the occupied West Bank.
Israel said at the time that border authorities had foiled an attempt to smuggle the items at the King Hussein Bridge border crossing, claiming that the items were found in Odwan’s car.
Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet said its investigation revealed that Odwan carried out 12 separate smuggling attempts since early 2022, using his diplomatic passport.
Shin Bet said since the start of the year, he made several successful attempts to smuggle arms in exchange for money, adding that he was released for “further investigation and pursuit of justice” by Jordanian authorities.
Odwan, 34, from Balqa governorate, is a lawyer, holds a master’s degree in international law, and is a member of the Palestine Committee in the Jordanian Parliament. He has many political stances opposing the government.
Prominent Israeli political analyst, Yoni Ben Menachem, told Arab News that the return of Al-Adwan would have a positive effect on Israeli-Jordanian relations, which have been tense since Israel’s right-wing government came to power in late December.
He said that Israeli authorities were still investigating the intended recipients of the weapons. “The good thing is that the Israeli intelligence managed to close the loophole that smuggled (weapons) from Jordan to Palestinian armed groups in the West Bank,” he said.