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Jordan jails two senior figures convicted of plotting coup

A court in Jordan has found a former royal court chief, Bassem Awadallah, and a relative of King Abdullah, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, guilty of sedition and incitement against the monarchy. Both of the men, the latter of which denied the charges, have been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The pair were detained in April when former Crown Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest due to a plot to destabilize the nation. However, Prince Hamzah did not face any charges. Prince Hamzah is the half-brother of King Abdullah. King Abdullah decided to deal with the case within their family rather than in the public eye after Prince Hamzah pledged his allegiance to the monarchy and family. Hamzah was named crown prince in 1999 upon the death of his father and Abdullah became king, however, Hamzah was stripped of his title in 2004.

On April 3, Prince Hamzah released two videos, one of which confirmed the details of his house arrest. He cited a senior official as speaking criticisms of the king at several meetings attended by both Hamzah and the official. Prince Hamzah denied any wrongdoing in the situation, insisting that he had only spoken out about corruption and poor governance. A total of eighteen people were arrested over the alleged plot to stage a coup against the Jordanian monarch. However, all of those arrested besides Sharif Hassan and Awadallah were released without charge.

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