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Fugitive uncle of Jordanian king sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption

AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian court has sentenced a fugitive uncle of King Abdullah II to 18 years in prison in a corruption case, a judicial official says.

Walid al-Kurdi had already been jailed for more than 37 years in 2013 for “abuse of office,” after he had fled to the United Kingdom.

Kurdi is the former CEO of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Co, one of the world’s largest suppliers.

He was tried in the latest case for abuse of power and corruption while he served with the company.

In addition to the new jail term, the court fined him 190 million dinars ($268 million), the judicial official says on condition of anonymity.

His previous conviction related to “sales and shipping deals,” a judicial official said at the time.

The court also froze his assets in 2013.

Kurdi is married to Princess Basma, sister of Abdullah’s father, the late king Hussein.

In April last year former crown prince Hamzah, King Abdullah II’s half-brother, accused the country’s rulers of corruption and ineptitude. He also said he had been put under house arrest.

At the same time, authorities announced they had foiled a bid to destabilize the pro-Western kingdom and had arrested 18 suspects, though most were later released.

The royal court said that Hamzah had apologized over the events. Last month he said he was renouncing his title of prince.

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