RAMALLAH, West Bank – An official says a Palestinian court has sentenced a political foe of President Mahmoud Abbas to three years in prison for allegedly embezzling $16 million as a Cabinet minister.
The official says the decision was handed down Wednesday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the media.
The defendant, Mohammed Dahlan, has lived in exile since falling out with Abbas in 2010. He was sentenced in absentia.
Since the rift, Abbas has taken a series of steps to block Dahlan's possible return to a West Bank leadership position. Egypt and other Arab states urged Abbas to allow Dahlan's return.
Wednesday's ruling came after a constitutional court upheld Abbas' right to strip Dahlan and four of his allies of their parliamentary immunity.