Qatar Pardons Jordanian Journalist

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(AP) The emir of Qatar on Tuesday pardoned a Jordanian journalist who had been convicted of spying and sentenced to death, according to the official Qatari official news agency.

Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani issued the pardon to mark the visit to his nation of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Firas al-Majali, who worked as a reporter for state-owned Qatar Television, was convicted in October of spying and passing military and other information about Qatar to Jordan. An appeals court upheld the sentence.

Qatari officials earlier had alleged that Majali, 30, had sent information to Jordan on the status of U.S. troops in Qatar as well as economic and social data. Cool relations between the two countries complicated Majalis’ case.

In August, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Qatar in a diplomatic row over a program Al-Jazeera television, based in Qatar, aired that the government found insulting to the royal family. However, the ambassador, Omar Al-Amad, returned in November, and the leaders of the two countries met in Paris in January.

Jordan’s king is in Doha as part of a Gulf tour widely viewed as an attempt by the monarch to familiarize himself with war preparations in the region.

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