A Jordanian courtroom on Monday sentenced two former officers to fifteen years in jail over a palace coup try that sparked a disaster in a kingdom seen as a regional oasis of stability.
Former royal courtroom chief Bassem Awadallah and an ex-envoy to Saudi Arabia, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, had been convicted of conspiring to topple King Abdullah II in favour of his half-brother Prince Hamzah.
The former crown prince himself was not on trial.
But the 13-page cost sheet stated Hamzah, 41, “was determined to fulfill his personal ambition to rule, in violation of the Hashemite constitution and customs”.
Awadallah and Bin Zaid, who each have shut ties to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, had been discovered responsible of “incitement against the ruling system” and “acts that could threaten society and create sedition”, stated the sentence learn out in courtroom.
Awadallah, who holds Saudi nationality, and his co-defendant had been on trial since June 21 and had confronted as much as 20 years in jail if convicted on all costs.
Images launched by authorities confirmed the 2 males, in mild blue jail uniforms, being escorted into the courtroom on Monday by safety personnel in black uniforms.
Journalists at a makeshift media centre outdoors the State Security Court, a army tribunal that additionally consists of civilian judges, had been later proven quick movies of the ruling being issued.
The males’s attorneys stated they’d enchantment.
Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia has fervently denied any involvement within the alleged plot.
The unprecedented palace disaster erupted in April. Eighteen suspects had been arrested after authorities introduced they’d foiled a bid to destabilise the pro-Western kingdom, however 16 had been later launched.
A former crown prince who was sidelined as inheritor to the throne by the king in 2004, Hamzah accused Jordan’s rulers of corruption and ineptitude in a video message posted by the BBC on April 3.
He stated the identical day that he had been put beneath home arrest.
Authorities later stated he wouldn’t stand trial, as his case had been resolved inside the royal household, with Hamzah pledging allegiance to Abdullah.
The king appointed Hamzah as crown prince in 1999, on the request of his late father, however eliminated him from the submit in 2004, later naming his son, Prince Hussein, as subsequent in line to the throne.
The courtroom had rejected a defence request to summon three princes together with Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi as witnesses, calling it “unproductive”.
The trial was held behind closed doorways within the capital Amman.
At the beginning, Awadallah’s lawyer Mohammed Afif had stated the 2 defendants “insist that Prince Hamzah testify in this case”.
“The final decision is up to the court, but if it refuses to summon him, it must justify it,” he advised AFP on June 22.
Bin Zaid’s lawyer stated forward of the decision that the defence crew had requested the courtroom to “find both our clients innocent of the charges against them”.
US-educated Awadallah was lengthy thought of a contentious and divisive determine in Jordan, having served as finance and planning minister earlier than turning into royal courtroom chief in 2007.
He performed a key function pushing for financial reforms, earlier than he resigned in 2008 amid criticism over alleged interference in delicate political and financial points.
He rose to turn into an influential determine accustomed to the interior workings of the Saudi management, and sometimes appeared alongside Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
When the trial opened, a video was extensively shared on social media exhibiting Awadallah arriving on the courtroom carrying a plain blue jail uniform and a masks.
To the delight of his many detractors in Jordan, he was seen together with his palms cuffed behind his again, escorted by an anti-terror officer.
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