Jordan Court Sets Monday for Verdict in Plot Against Monarchy, Source Says

Estranged Prince Hamza, half-brother of King Abdullah II and a former heir to the throne, was accused of liaising with disgruntled members of powerful tribes. He avoided punishment after pledging allegiance to the king

Reporters outside the state security court last month in Amman, Jordan.
Reporters outside the state security court last month in Amman, Jordan.Credit: Raad Adayleh,AP

Jordan's security court will hand down its verdict in the trial of a former royal confidant accused of destabilising the monarchy on Monday, an official source said.

The case revolves around prosecution accusations that Bassem Awadallah, along with a minor royal, backed the aspirations of the former heir to the throne Prince Hamza to replace the monarch.

The case shocked Jordan because it appeared to expose rifts within the ruling Hashemite family that has been a beacon of stability in a volatile region in recent years

The estranged prince, who is also the half-brother of King Abdullah II, was accused of liaising with disgruntled members of powerful tribes who dominate the security forces and form the bedrock of support for the monarchy.

Hamza avoided punishment after pledging allegiance to the king, defusing the crisis that had led to his house arrest.

Awadallah, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin drawn from outside the traditional palace entourage, allegedly advised Hamza on critical tweets the prince wanted to send to further his ambitions.

Awadallah is charged with agitating to undermine Jordan's political system and committing acts that threaten public security and sowing sedition. He has pleaded not guilty.

Legal experts have questioned the legality of a trial when the man at the center of the case, Prince Hamza, is not in the dock.

The authorities have said the trial process, held secretly on national security grounds, is fair.

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