A Jordanian MP is being investigated after pulling a gun on his opponent in a live TV talkshow.
Mohammed Shawabka pointed his weapon at political activist Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad last Thursday evening after the ex-deputy called him a “mafia thief”.
The two men were debating Syria’s uprising on the private Jordanian Josat satellite station.
Shawabka accused Murad of being a “spy” for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime. He first hurled his shoe at Murad and then pulled out a pistol.
“He was going to shoot me and he should be punished for that,” said Murad, an outspoken activist affiliated with Arab nationalist groups who support what they consider to be Syrian president Bashar Assad’s defiance of the west.
He said he had filed a complaint against Shawabka at a Amman court on Monday, accusing him of attempted murder and defamation.
An Amman prosecutor confirmed that the case was received and that the court will soon decide if there is enough evidence to bring charges.
Political debate shows are a popular feature on Arabic-language satellite television and some hosts frequently book guests with radically opposed views and reputations for volatility. Exchanges of insults are common, shoving matches not unheard-of.
The prosecutor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the use of a firearm meant there was potentially a serious charge, if not attempted murder.
“Had he pointed the gun at Mr Murad’s head, it would’ve surely been a good case of attempted murder,” the prosecutor said. Video of the fight does not appear to show Shawabka taking aim.
Prosecutors are also investigating “how the gun managed to find its way into the studio”, he said.
Shawabka declined comment. Murad denied Shawabka’s accusation of espionage.
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