Social Security and backroom deals

تم نشره في Tue 27 January / Jan 2015. 03:41 PM

By Jumana Ghunaimat

For some time now, no official statements were issued concerning the case filed against the Social Security Corporation’s (SSC) Investment Fund (SSCIF), alleging that some regional entity has signed a deal with the SSCIF to buy its stake in the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance.

The last official statements were positive, and included promises of good news on the case. The announcement was made at the time through the SSCIF’s chief Dr. Suleiman al-Hafiz, who said that the end of the year 2014, we will see a shift in the case pending before the Swiss courts for more than a year.

After that, we did not hear anything from the officials, neither did any official information leak; the doors closed in the face of efforts to get any information, under the pretext of maintaining the confidentiality of the investigation and litigation/arbitration. Hence, the information issued always comes from the “rival” of the SSC in the ongoing attempts to spread the conviction that the SSC’s position is weak; every time, they prove to be inaccurate leaks.

Recent developments related to the issue are that local authorities, some time ago, managed to arrest a local gang that is committing SSC-related fraud; as it is now before court, the details of those fraudsters cannot be released.

Of course, the official silence on the SSC’s case in the Housing Bank may seem provocative, but is understandable; except that he does not mean the absence of ongoing work on the case, and it being followed up strongly from various public institutions and departments.

Last leaks, and as usual by the SSC’s rival, indicate that the English arbitrator has taken a new procedural decision the details of which are still unknown. But also as these leaks confirm, it has decided not to adopt the reports on matching the signature on the alleged deal documents.

Twelve reports were presented by the plaintiff, that confirmed the authenticity of the signature, but the international arbitrator commissioned three reports that revealed that the former director of the SSCIF Dr. Yasser Odwan did not sign the documents, and that the signature was forged, in addition to reports commissioned by the SSC that indicated the same.

In an unexpected twist, insiders say that the arbitrator's requested a new technical and non-traditional procedure, regarding one piece of evidence in the investigation, regarding a video I have personally received a copy of on my e-mail. Anyone who watches it knows that there’s a clear technical defect in it. Logically, checking the video requires experts and specialists. But compared to the previous, we will discover that the video was completely fabricated, like the rest of the documents provided by the opponent over the past months.

However, law professionals confirm that the new development on the case takes them several steps back, including prolonging the new investigation for months, and delaying the decision. It would also require a continuing effort to prove to the Jordanians that fraud has happened, with a high level of precision and craftsmanship.

The efforts put in are appreciated, and time is enough to show the full details of the story, which seems to be action-packed more than films, with acts beyond imagination. It will be the duty of each of those who followed the case to announce the details to all Jordanians, with full transparency, and to explain how and when this story hatched in backrooms, and who were the parties to it to be convicted by the popular opinion before their legal conviction.

Again, I recall a statement by Dr. Odwan, at the beginning of the case, when he said: "He who sells the shares of the Housing Bank sells Jordan"; words that only come out of the mouth of a true, honest patriot, as is Dr. Odwan.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition