A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah Thursday sentenced Mohammed Rashid, a former advisor to Yasser Arafat, to 15 years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzlement and money laundering.
Rashid, who served for nearly two decades as Arafat's financial advisor, was also fined $15 million and ordered to give back $34 million which he and others allegedly stole.
Rashid is the most senior PA official to be sentenced for corruption by a PA court. He and three other former PA officials were sentenced in absentia after they refused to appear before the court.
Rashid, who is an Iraqi Kurd, left the Palestinian territories shortly after Arafat's death in late 2004. He has since been living in a number of Arab countries.