Jordanian court upholds conviction of 2 men in alleged royal plot

A Jordanian court upholds the conviction of two former senior officials on sedition and other charges connected to an alleged plot against the kingdom involving the half-brother of King Abdullah II.

Bassem Awadallah, who has US citizenship and once served as a top aide to the king, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were sentenced to 15 years in prison in July by a state security court. They are accused of conspiring with Hamzah, a former crown prince, and of seeking foreign assistance.

They were swept up in a wave of arrests in April. Prince Hamzah, who was placed under house arrest that month, denied being part of any conspiracy and said he was being targeted for speaking out against corruption. The king later announced that the royal rift had been resolved within the family, and Hamzah was never charged with anything.

Awadallah’s US-based lawyer, Michael Sullivan, slammed the initial verdict, saying there was a “complete lack of due process” and that his client suffered “inhumane treatment, including beatings and psychological torture.” Jordanian prosecutors have denied those allegations.

The Court of Cassation dismisses an appeal filed by lawyers for the two men, saying they were convicted in accordance with the law, according to the state-run Petra news agency.

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