ex-high adviser and distant cousin of king sentenced to 15 years in prison for alleged royal conspiracy – .

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ex-high adviser and distant cousin of king sentenced to 15 years in prison for alleged royal conspiracy – .


Bassem Awadallah, a dual Jordanian-American citizen and former head of the royal court of Jordan, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a distant cousin of the king, were convicted of inciting against the state and sowing sedition. Sharif Hassan was also convicted of drug charges.

Awadallah, a former finance minister, is also an aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. After his detention in a spectacular arrest in April, Saudi Arabia sent a delegation led by Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan to Amman. The Saudi and Jordanian governments, key regional allies, have denied the meeting was about Awadallah.

More than a dozen people have been arrested in the crackdown which Jordanian authorities say thwarted an attempt to “destabilize” the kingdom. Officials alleged that Prince Hamzah, a popular royal, led the plan and conspired with foreign entities.

Hamzah, who publicly issued a scathing criticism of the country’s leadership in April, denied being part of a foreign plot.

After the royal family mediated the dispute, Hamzah pledged allegiance to the king and was spared prosecution. He has not made a public appearance since April and his testimony was ruled inadmissible by the court despite repeated pleas from the defense team. The defense team called for more than 20 witnesses, including two other princes and officials, all of whom were dismissed.
The judicial process, which took place behind closed doors, has been criticized for its lack of transparency. Officials said they had to close the proceedings to the public for national security reasons.

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