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Dubai: Jordan’s State Security Court on Wednesday sentenced business tycoon Awni Mutee to 22 years in prison for his involvement in the 'tobacco case', branded by local media as the Kingdom’s biggest corruption scandal.

In a five-hour public hearing aired live on the state TV, the court also handed a 22-year imprisonment term to businessmen Salameh Al Alamat and Bashar Awni for their roles in the case involving 29 defendants and companies.

Defendants Atef Hussein and Ahmed Da’san have been awarded a 20-year jail term.

The court also sentenced defendants Yousef Awni, Mohammed Al Alamat, Raed Hamdan, Ismail Salman, Motasem Ramadan Mesbah, Saifuddin Abu Roqaa, Yazid Asaad Yousef, Mahmoud Mohammed Hammad, Mohammed Atiyah and Mohammed Saleh Mohammed to three years and a half in prison with temporary labour and fees.

The court issued a verdict dissolving 22 companies involving in the scandal, confiscating movable and immovable funds of the convicts. Fines also imposed on them,

Defendants Youssef Antoun and Jasser Al Naber passed away. The court acquitted former minister Munir Owais from charges. Dubbed ‘the tobacco scandal’, a case of illegal production and smuggling of fake-brand cigarettes like Winston, worth of millions of doallrs, was revealed in July 2018.

The convicts can challenge the rulings at the Court of Cassation within 30 days.