Jordan refers 2 to security court over alleged foreign plot

Jordan has referred the cases of two former senior officials accused of taking part in a foreign plot linked to the half-brother of King Abdullah II to a national security court, the official Petra news agency reports.

Bassem Awadallah, a former Cabinet minister and one-time head of the royal court, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were swept up in a wave of arrests in April. Prince Hamzah, a former crown prince, was placed under a form of house arrest.

The government accused them of being part of a foreign plot to undermine the stability of the country, which is a close Western ally. Hamzah denied being part of any conspiracy and said he was targeted for speaking out against corruption and poor governance. At one point authorities imposed a gag order on all media coverage of the dispute, underscoring its sensitivity.

Abdullah later said he had resolved the matter with his half-brother through mediation within the royal family and that Hamzah was in his own home under the king’s protection. All of those arrested were released except for Awadallah and Hassan.

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