Palestinian Court Dismisses Mohammed Dahlan Corruption Case

Former Fatah strongman in Gaza accused of misusing funds; Court rules charges inadmissible.

Former Palestinian Fatah higher-up Mohammed Dahlan speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 3, 2011.

A Palestinian court on Sunday dismissed a corruption case against politician Mohammed Dahlan, his lawyer told AFP.

Dahlan's lawyer Sevag Torossian said the corruption court in Ramallah ruled the charges against Dahlan were inadmissible.

The case, which has been ongoing since December, related to the alleged misuse of $17 million in expenses, according to his lawyers. They called the trial a "farce."

"This is a great victory for the defence but also for the political future of Palestine," Torossian said, according to AFP. He praised the "courage of the judges who have just demonstrated the independence of the judicial system from the executive."

Dahlan formerly served as a Fatah leader in Gaza until Hamas ousted rival Fatah forces from the coastal enclave in 2007. Four years later, Dahlan was expelled from Fatah over criminal allegations against him.