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Palestinian Authority to receive fugitive Palestinian officials via Interpol

Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission Rafik Natsheh has revealed that Jordan would soon hand over three Palestinian officials accused of embezzling public funds, Arab media reported.

An informed official told Rai Al-Youm news website that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had also officially submitted orders to Egypt and other Gulf States to hand over former PA officials, including senior military official Rashid Abu-Shbak, who is close to dismissed Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan.

The official, who is close to the PA president's office, reiterated that officials in the Anti-Corruption Commission and the foreign ministry have discussed the issue with security officials. They decided to send orders to extradite the fugitives, who had previously been convicted by Palestinian courts.

Abu-Shbak is one of the main fugitives. He was sentenced in absentia by a Palestinian court to 15 years in prison with fines up to a million dollars.

Mohamed Rashid (Khalid Islam), an economic advisor to late PA president Yasser Arafat, was also named. He was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison with fines up to $15 million.

The PA does not know the whereabouts of Rashid, but according to Rai Al-Youm, an official said that the PA sent orders to Jordan, Egypt and the UAE via Interpol. The official said that the PA got information that Rashid visited these countries using fake passports.

The official also explained that since the PA had recently become a member of the UN Convention against Corruption, it is now possible to cooperate with member states to extradite officials convicted of corruption.

Meanwhile, Natsheh said that the PA sent an order to Egypt to hand over a person who was convicted by an Egyptian court a few months ago. Egypt seized $40 million from this official.

Netsheh also confirmed that Abu-Shbak is among those to be handed over soon.

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