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Jordanian court sentences two former officials to 15 years for coup plot

Published: Updated:

A Jordanian state security court on Monday sentenced former officials, Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, to 15 years in prison on charges of sedition and incitement.

Awadallah and Zaid were accused of attempting to destabilize the monarchy of King Abdullah II and to have conspired with Prince Hamzah, the king’s half-brother.

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Awadallah, a former aide to King Abdullah II, and Zaid, a member of the royal family, were arrested in April. The two had pleaded not guilty during their trial.

Forty-one year old Prince Hamzah is not facing trial, but his family said that it had resolved the dispute with him. The court had rejected a defense request to bring more than two dozen witnesses to testify, incuding the prince.

Former Jordanian Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein delivers a speech in Amman. (File photo: Reuters)
Former Jordanian Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein delivers a speech in Amman. (File photo: Reuters)

King Abdullah II and Prince Hamzah are both sons of the late King Hussein, who died in 1999.

Upon ascending to the throne, King Abdullah named Prince Hamzah as the crown prince, only to revoke the title five years later and give it to his own son.

The two brothers are said to generally have good relations, Prince Hamzah has in the past spoken out against government policies and forged close ties with powerful tribal leaders in a move that could be seen as a threat to the king.

Read more:

Defense in Jordan trial to ask court to invite Prince Hamza to testify

Jordan coup plot accused want Prince Hamzah to testify: Lawyer

Jordan ‘plot’ suspects to go on trial in security court, reports State TV