Jordan's state security court on Wednesday sentenced three Jordanians to jail for plotting an attack against U.S. President George W. Bush when he visited the kingdom in 2006.
The three men were sentenced to 15 years each for conspiracy to plot "terrorist attacks" against Bush, in a ruling handed down on the day the U.S. president returned to the region at the start of a five-day tour.
Nidal Momani, 29, Sattam Zawahra, 24, and Tharwat Ali Draz, 28, had risked the death penalty in the case. They repeatedly denied the charges and claimed their confessions were made under duress.
"The court rejected the death penalty and sentenced them to 15 years in prison in order to give them the chance to redeem themselves and become better people, because they are still young," a court spokesman said.
As the verdict was announced the men knelt on the ground and prayed, an AFP reporter who attended the hearing said.
Defense lawyer Abdel Karim Shreideh, who was refused permission to call Bush to give evidence for the defense, said he would immediately launch an appeal against the sentences.