An Israeli who illegally crossed into Jordan in late October will be put on trial in the Hashemite Kingdom, an official Jordanian source said on Monday, according to Amman’s state-run Petra news agency.
Konstantin Kotov will be tried by Jordan’s State Security Court on charges of illegally entering the kingdom and possessing drugs with intent of using them, the official source also said.
On October 29, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufyan Qudah said an Israeli citizen was arrested after illegally crossing into the kingdom, without providing details about his identity.
At the time, Qudah added that Jordanian authorities were interrogating the Israeli before transferring him to “the relevant legal parties to take the necessary legal measures against him.”
The official Jordanian source added that Kotov’s trial will begin on Monday.
Jordan has not publicly provided specific details about how Kotov allegedly crossed into its territory in violation of the law.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was following Kotov’s situation and was in touch with him, his family, and Jordanian authorities.
It also said that Israel’s consulate general in Jordan visited him at a detention facility.
A Human Rights Watch report in 2012 described the State Security Court as not being “independent of the executive.” It also said its panels usually consist of two military judges and one civilian.
Jordan is one of two Arab states to maintain a peace treaty and formal diplomatic relations with Israel, but ties have recently been tense.
Jordanian King Adbullah II said in November that Jordan’s relations with Israel were at an all-time low.
“Part of it is because of the Israeli domestic matters,” Abdullah told an event in New York City hosted by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US think-tank. He was apparently referring to the political gridlock in Jerusalem which could lead to a third election in less than a year.
“We are hoping Israel will decide its future — whether it is in the next several weeks or three months.”
An edited video of his remarks were posted on the Royal Hashemite Court’s Youtube page on November 22.
Abdullah added that “the problems that we have had with Israel [are] bilateral… Now, I hope, whatever happens in Israel over the next two or three months, we can get back to talking to each other on simple issues that we haven’t been able to talk about for the past two years.”