Jordan’s King Abdullah II laughs with his half brother Prince Hamzah, right, shortly before the monarch embarked on a tour of the United States
Jordan’s King Abdullah II laughs with his half brother Prince Hamzah, right, shortly before the monarch embarked on a tour of the United States
Photo: AP
Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Jordan ex-royal court chief faces trial over alleged monarchy plot

State media says suspect formally charged with agitating to undermine the kingdom's political system and acts that threaten public security and sowing sedition; charges carry up to 30 years in prison

Reuters |
Published: 06.13.21, 19:56
Jordan's military court will start the trial next week of a former royal court chief and a minor royal on charges of agitating to destabilize the monarchy, state media said on Sunday.
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  • Prosecutors last week referred to court the case of Bassem Awadallah, an ex-royal court chief and finance minister who played a big role in the drive to liberalize Jordan's economy, and Sherif Hassan Zaid, a distant relative of King Abdullah.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    המלך עבדאללה ירדן
    המלך עבדאללה ירדן
    Jordan’s King Abdullah II
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    They were arrested in early April when former heir to the throne Prince Hamza was placed under house arrest over allegations that he had liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilize Jordan, a close U.S. ally in the Middle East.
    State media said Awadallah and Zaid were formally charged with agitating to undermine the kingdom's political system and acts that threaten public security and sowing sedition. The two charges carry up to 30 years in prison, judicial sources said.
    Proceedings against Prince Hamza, who along with Awadallah had been under investigation for some time, were later dropped after he pledged allegiance to King Abdullah.
    A charge list published in state media said Hamza, the half-brother of King Abdallah who was stripped of his title nearly two decades ago, gave his blessing to Awadallah to lobby in Western capitals and Riyadh in his goal to accede to the throne.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Jordan’s King Abdullah II laughs with his half brother Prince Hamzah, right, shortly before the monarch embarked on a tour of the United States
    Jordan’s King Abdullah II laughs with his half brother Prince Hamzah, right, shortly before the monarch embarked on a tour of the United States
    King Abdullah laughs with his half brother Prince Hamzah, right, shortly before the monarch embarked on a tour of the United States
    (Photo: AP)
    Awadallah is among the closest economic advisers to Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a matter that complicated the judicial investigations, according to officials familiar with the affair.
    Amman turned down Riyadh's request to hand him over, they added, without elaborating.
    King Abdullah said after the affair came to light that sedition had been quashed, describing it as the most painful" because it came from both inside the royal family and outside it."
    The intrigue exposed the first serious rift within Jordan's ruling Hashemite family in many years and shook the image of the country as an island of stability in an unpredictable region.
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