June 24, 2021

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Jordan releases 16 allegedly involved in a sedition plot

Jordan releases 16 allegedly involved in a sedition plot

A few weeks after their arrest, more than a dozen alleged conspirators were released for their involvement in a royal feud between King Abdullah II and his half-brother and one-time crown prince, Prince Hamzah.

The rift, which government officials describe as a foreign-backed plot to destabilize the country, has kept Jordanians in bondage for weeks, bringing undue attention to a royal family accustomed to keeping its disputes private and unwelcome international control. on leadership of the desert kingdom.

The 16 inmates, many of them staff members of Prince Hamzah or his circle of friends from the powerful tribes of Jordan, had been captured in a blitz operation involving multiple assault teams sent across the kingdom. According to a statement released Thursday by the palace, they would be released after the king urged the government to “examine the proper mechanism for returning those who had been misled to follow the sedition.”

The release took place after the families of the accused asked the palace for forgiveness.

Later on Thursday, state news worker Petra sued Brig. Gen. Hazem Majali, the military court’s prosecutor, said the defendants were released “within legal frameworks and standards” on the basis of the king’s “concern. for the good of the country and its citizens “.

Family members rushed to pick up their relative from the headquarters of the Jordanian Intelligence Directorate on the outskirts of the capital, Amman.

“They were released without charge. Hopefully they will iftar tonight in their homes, ”said Hisham Majali, of whose tribe two members were arrested. He referred to the traditional breaking of fasting held after sunset during the month of Ramadan.

Two other defendants, Bassem Awadallah, former senior lieutenant of King Abdullah with deep ties to Saudi Arabia; and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, remained in detention. Brig. Gen. Majali said they were detained “in connection with the difference in their roles … and the level of instigation which differs from the rest of the accused”.

Despite not disclosing any evidence, officials insist that Awadallah and Bin Zaid, both holding Saudi citizenship, were involved in a hitherto undefined plan to incite protests in Jordan, protests Prince Hamzah allegedly used to usurp the country. his stepbrother’s place on the throne.

Hamzah, who the king previously said would be “treated within” the ruling Hashemite family, hasn’t spoken publicly since he leaked a couple of videos on April 3 in which he mocked the country’s leadership – not to mention his half-brother – for corruption, nepotism, bad governance and inability to tolerate dissent.

Since then, his words have resonated with many in Jordan, a perpetually cash-strapped kingdom and the United States’ main ally that was ravaged by the coronavirus. The country suffers from unprecedented levels of youth unemployment and a widespread perception that corruption has riddled the state.