(Adds Jordanian comment)
DUBLIN Aug 22 Three members of Jordan's
paralympic squad were charged with sex offences in Northern
Ireland on Wednesday and released on bail after their embassy
promised they would return to court.
The two wheelchair-bound power lifters and a trainer were
arrested on Monday evening and accused of sexual offences
involving two women and two underage girls, the court heard.
"The embassy in London wishes to reassure the courts of its
continued cooperation and maintains utmost respect for the due
process of the law," the Jordanian embassy in London said in a
King Abdullah has taken a personal interest in the case, a
representative of the embassy said during the proceedings in
Coleraine, County Londonderry.
Weight lifter Omar Sami Qaradhi was charged with three
counts of sexual assault and one of voyeurism on Wednesday. Two
of the alleged assaults were against children.
His colleague Motaz Al-Junad faced one sexual assault
charge. Trainer Faisal Hammash was charged with two counts of
causing a child to engage in sexual acts. The alleged offences
took place between Aug. 16 and Aug. 20, the court was told.
The 19-strong Jordanian squad was one of several from the
Middle East and Africa training in Northern Ireland's Antrim
Forum sports centre ahead of the London games, which are due to
start on Aug. 29.
The team was due to leave for London on Wednesday but it was
not clear whether the three accused would join them.
The Jordanian embassy representative told the court her
country would provide guarantees the men would return from bail
to face trial.
(Reporting by Ian Graham; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Robin