A Jordanian court on Monday put on trial in absentia Danish artist Kurt Westergaard who is being sued in the kingdom for blasphemy over a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

"A court in Amman began today the trial in absentia of those who insulted the Prophet, including Westergaard and Danish newspapers which published his offensive cartoon," said Tareq Hawamdeh, lawyer for local journalists and activists who brought the suit.

"Judge Nathir Shehadeh adjourned the trial until May 8 to hear the witnesses," Hawamdeh said in a statement.

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