Mohammed Shawabka, Jordan MP, under fire for drawing pistol during TV debate


A Syrian refugee child watches television at a house in Amman, Jordan, on May 30, 2012. Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled from carnage and violence at home to neighbouring Jordan are draining the desert kingdom's meagre water resources, officials and experts say.


Khalil Mazraawi

Jordanian officials are investigating a lawmaker who drew his pistol and pointed it straight at his provocateur during a political debate on live TV, reported The Associated Press

The show, which aired Thursday, "produced a torrent of insults, a shoe flying across the studio and a pistol being whipped out," said a rather breathless report by Hurriyet Daily News.  

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Parliamentarian Mohammed Shawabka went for the weapon after being accused of being a "mafia thief" by controversial politician Mansour Seif-Eddine Murad, who today formally charged Shawabka with attempted murder and defamation, said AP

Murad, who is known for his support of those loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, faced off with Shawabka in a prime-time debate organized by the private Jordanian channel Josat.

AP said the discussion touched on domestic politics as well as the uprising in Syria, where fighting between Assad and rebels leading an anti-government revolt has taken some 10,000 lives. 

“You are a spy in the pay of the Syrian regime,” Shawabka told Murad, prompting Murad to accuse Shawabka of ties to Israel's Mossad spy network, said Hurriyet Daily News.

Before you know it, all hell has broken loose in the television studio, according to Hurriyet Daily News, describing the moderator "scrambling between the men close up in front of the camera to keep tempers from flaring into all-out violence."

"He was going to shoot me and he should be punished for that," Murad told AP.

It does not appear that Shawabka has commented publicly on the incident.