Jordan to start trial of two former senior officials over alleged foreign plot

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Jordan’s military court will start the trial next week of two former senior officials on charges of agitating to destabilize the monarchy, state media said on Sunday.

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.

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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 US ally in the Middle East.

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.

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