King Abdullah II of Jordan
King Abdullah II of Jordan Image Credit: New York Times

Dubai: The Hashemite Court in Jordan has categorically rejected all ‘distorted’ reports and facts, and misleading information and unsubstantiated conclusions, about King Abdullah detailed in the so-called Pandora Papers. The court added that it maintains the right to undertake necessary legal procedures.

King Abdullah owns properties in the US and Britain and this was not a secret, the Hashemite Court said, adding privacy and security reasons were behind not disclosing it.

In a massive leak of financial documents published on Sunday, King Abdullah was alleged to have used offshore accounts to spend more than $100 million on luxury homes in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Court said the report included inaccuracies, and distorted and exaggerated the facts.

Properties in US, UK

The statement said ownership of properties was no secret, and that King Abdullah owns a number of apartments and residences in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is not unusual nor improper, it added.

The court said King Abdullah uses these properties during official visits and to hosts officials and foreign dignitaries. The King and his family members also stay in some of these properties during private visits. As such, the court said the details pertaining to these properties were being made available to the parties concerned when planning both official and private visits and coordinating on security matters.

“[Ownership of] these properties is not publicised out of security and privacy concerns, and not out of secrecy or an attempt to hide them, as these reports have claimed. Measures to maintain privacy are crucial for a head of state such as His Majesty.”

In addition to privacy requirements, the statement said there are critical security considerations that prevent divulging His Majesty’s and his family’s places of residence, particularly in light of heightened security risks. As such, the act of revealing these addresses by some media outlets is a flagrant security breach and a threat to His Majesty’s and his family’s safety,” the Hashemite Court added.

Strict compliance

“To this end, companies were registered in external jurisdictions to manage and administer the properties and to ensure strict compliance with all relevant legal and financial obligations. The cost of these properties and all related expenditures have been personally funded by His Majesty. None of these expenses have been funded by the state budget or treasury. This also applies to the personal expenditures of His Majesty and his family,” the statement further said.

“All public finances and international assistance are subject to professional audits, and their allocations are fully accounted for by the government and donor entities. International assistance to the Kingdom is used for public purposes within the national budget allocations and is subject to agreed upon governance mechanisms and the oversight of donor states and institutions.

“Any allegations that link these private properties to public funds or assistance are baseless and deliberate attempts to distort facts. Such allegations are defamatory and designed to target Jordan’s reputation as well as His Majesty’s credibility and the critical role he plays regionally and internationally,” the statement concluded.