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Officers stand guard outside Jordan's State Security Court, which announced its verdict in the trial of two officials accused of helping Prince Hamzah try to overthrow his half-brother King Abdullah II, in the capital Amman on July 12, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Amman: A Jordanian state security court has sentenced two former officials to serve 15 years in prison over an alleged plot against the Western-allied monarchy.

Bassem Awadallah, who has US citizenship and once served as a top aide to King Abdullah II, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were found guilty of sedition and incitement charges. Each was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

They are alleged to have conspired with Prince Hamzah, the king’s half-brother, and to have sought foreign assistance. The verdict was announced Monday, following a closed-door trial that consisted of just six hearings.

The royal family says it resolved the dispute with Hamzah, whose exact status is unknown but was never formally charged.

King Abdullah is expected in Washington on July 19, when he will be the first Arab leader to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House. Jordan is a close US ally in the Middle East and is seen as a key partner in eventually reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.