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Jordan prince may testify in 'coup' case

Jordan Prince Hamzah bin al Hussein in Copenhagen on December 17, 2009 [ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images]
Jordan Prince Hamzah bin al Hussein in Copenhagen on December 17, 2009 [ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images]

Prince Hamzah Bin Hussein is likely to be called as a witness in the case known in the media as the "Sedition Case" against former Chief of the Jordanian Royal Court, Bassem Awadallah.

Awadallah's lawyer, Muhammad Afif, said in statements to CNN Arabic: "With the approaching date of the trial in the sedition case, there is a tendency to request Prince Hamzah as a witness, and any other witnesses, whether from the Jordanian royal family or others," noting that the trial might take four months, and its first session will start next week.

He added that his client and the second defendant in the case, Sharif Bin Zaid, insisted that Prince Hamzah take part as a defence witness, as his name was mentioned on every page of the indictment, while indicating that "nothing prevents this from a legal point of view."

Earlier, Amman News published what it said were the confessions of Awadallah, adding that he had confessed to holding periodic meetings with Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah's brother, since Ramadan 2020, noting that these meetings were arranged by Bin Zaid.

Awadallah said that these meetings came after Bin Zaid informed him that "Prince Hamzah is dissatisfied with the country's internal situation, and that he wanted to talk to me about this and seek advice, as I was a senior official in the royal court and I work now in Saudi Arabia and managed to hold close relations with officials there."

Jordan: prince was critical of monarch

"I agreed to hold the meeting, and at the same period, actually, Prince Hamzah started visiting my house periodically accompanied by Sharif Hassan, as it was clear from Prince Hamzah's talks that he is unhappy with the king and holds him responsible for all the mistakes of the state and successive governments."

Awadallah also indicated during the interrogation that given the fact that he was familiar with Prince Hamzah's position, "I started to share his arguments and incite him against the king, saying that he was the real cause of the deterioration of the internal situation, and at that time, Prince Hamzah told me that he does not trust him at all."

Jordan had gone through an unprecedented crisis two months ago, as King Abdullah II faced an uncommon split within the royal family, in light of accusations against his half-brother and former Crown Prince Hamzah of conspiring with "foreign parties to overthrow the king."

On 3 April, Jordanian authorities launched an arrest campaign against a number of former senior officials in the country, which led to placing Prince Hamzah under house arrest. They said Hamzah had liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilise the country and had been under investigation for some time.

The Public Prosecution later released, upon the king's recommendation, the 14 detainees, while keeping Awadallah and Bin Zaid in custody.

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JordanMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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