Jordan releases detained publisher

Associated Press Published: May 13, 2012
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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A Jordanian prosecutor says authorities have freed the publisher of an online newspaper who was arrested three weeks ago after his website posted an article alleging misconduct by royal officials.

A prosecutor at the state security court says Jamal Muhtaseb was released on bail Sunday. The amount was not disclosed.

The prosecutor spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief the media.

Muhtaseb has been charged with propagating "anti-regime sentiment."

Muhtaseb's Gerasanews.com published a story alleging that the office of Jordan's monarchy told parliament not to refer to trial a former minister accused of corruption in a housing scheme backed by King Abdullah II.

Human Rights Watch and The Committee to Protect Journalists have criticized Muhtaseb's detention, calling it an assault on free speech.