The international news agency reuters published a report, in which it touched on the verdict issued against the main defendants in the case of sedition in Jordan, the former head of the royal court, Basem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.
The report dealt with what it said was a case that exposed errors in the royal family in Jordan.
The authorities wanted a speedy secret trial in a military court, saying that a public hearing would jeopardize national security.
The court’s refusal of the defense’s request to call witnesses, including Prince Hamzah, expedited the trial.
The judgment can be appealed to a higher court.
Prince Hamzah (King Abdullah’s half-brother), avoided punishment after pledging allegiance to the king, and defused the crisis that led to his house arrest.
Legal experts questioned the legality of the trial when the man at the center of the case, Prince Hamzah, was not in the dock. The authorities said the trial process was fair.
The family of Awadallah, a US citizen who was appointed by former US federal prosecutor Michael Sullivan to represent them, said the former royal official was tortured and feared for his life.
Sullivan said after the ruling that Awadallah was denied a fair trial in secret proceedings that “witnessed an absolute denial of any transparency” as he faced physical abuse, deprivation, horrific threats and fabricated confessions.
The Jordanian Public Prosecution Office said that Awadallah was never threatened or tortured, nor did he testify under duress.
Much of the prosecution’s case was based on intercepted internet messages, which have now been leaked on social media.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the messages. They allegedly exposed talks between Hassan and Hamza in March, when the country saw a wave of protests over economic hardship.
Awadallah allegedly advised Hamza about critical tweets the prince wanted to send to further his ambitions.
The messages show Prince Hamzah, speaking in English, deliberating on what steps to take.
“What I need is some advice at the moment,” he says in one conversation, “these decisions need well-thought-out responses.”
Awadallah advised him not to publish a draft tweet saying that Jordan was on the verge of a “poor rebellion” because that might raise suspicion and make it impossible to keep their activities secret.
In other messages, Hassan raises the morale of Prince Hamzah by transmitting messages from Bassem Awad Allah.
Awadallah allegedly told Hamza’s accused relative on March 14: “Things are happening faster than we expected ‘the time has come’.”
Authorities say the recordings are evidence of how Hamza has exploited popular anger against the state. They say the suspects urged Hamza to escalate his provocation among disaffected members of powerful tribes that traditionally support the monarchy.
Hamza’s supporters described the leaks as “personal assassination.”
Officials say the prosecution’s evidence shows that Hamza wanted Awadallah to use his close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to gain support for Hamza’s bid to take the throne.
Prosecutors accused Awadallah, who has challenged a conservative establishment that opposes his liberal policies and has close ties to senior US officials, of lobbying on Hamza’s behalf in Western capitals and Saudi Arabia.
Prince Hamzah Awadallah asked, “If something happens to me in Jordan, will Saudi officials come to help me?” , according to a copy of the indictment that was leaked to pro-government news portals.
Officials say they halted what could have developed into an outsider-inspired plot. They also say that Awadallah tried to persuade Hamza to weaken King Abdullah’s resistance to the Middle East peace plan unveiled by former US President Donald Trump.
But officials say Hamza showed no interest in the matter and focused only on his aspirations for the throne.
The Jordanian State Security Court punished the main defendants in the so-called “sedition case”, the former head of the royal court, Basem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.
The court sentenced the first defendant in the sedition case, Basem Awadallah, to 15 years in prison with Ashghal, and the second defendant, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, to 15 years.
A state court decided to imprison Sharif Hassan bin Zaid for one year and a fine of one thousand dinars for the charge of drug use and possession.
The court confirmed that the two defendants in the sedition case had a friendly relationship and had ideas hostile to the state and King Abdullah II, and together they sought to cause chaos and strife within Jordanian society.
The State Security Court considered what happened in the sedition case a “criminal project.”
She said that in light of the discovery of the sedition plot by the security services in Jordan, the communication devices of the accused were placed under surveillance by a decision of the Public Prosecutor.
The court confirmed that the charges contained the material element and the reasons for criminalization.
She stated that the defendants and their actions were looking forward to changing the regime through Prince Hamzah and achieving special dimensions.
The State Security Court decided to incriminate the accused, Bassem Awadallah, with the first and second charges. While it was decided to incriminate the second accused in the case of sedition, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, with the 3 charges against him.
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