Amman: Jordan’s highest appeal court on Thursday upheld a guilty verdict against a former confidant of King Abdullah and a minor royal who were sentenced 15 years in jail on charges of attempting to destabilise the kingdom.
The cassation court said it confirmed evidence backing the sentence passed last July by a state security court against ex-royal court chief Bassem Awadallah, who played a big role in the drive to liberalise Jordan’s economy, and Sherif Hassan Zaid, a distant relative of King Abdullah.
“The court finds the acts committed were tangible activities that found their expression in ways meant to encourage and prod against the political system in Jordan,” the court said in its statement quashing their appeal request.
The two were arrested in early April when former heir to the throne Prince Hamza was placed under house arrest over allegations that he had liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilise Jordan, a close US ally in the Middle East.
Awadallah and Sharif Zaid were accused of pushing Hamza as an alternative to the king, committing acts that threatened public security and sowing sedition.
The pair pleaded not guilty and said they had nothing to do with the case.