AMMAN (middle East Eye) – Jordanian media has leaked purported confessions of Bassem Awadallah, a former finance minister and ex-head of the Royal Court, a week before his sedition plot trial is due to begin.
The document, published by several Jordanian mainstream news outlets on Tuesday, quotes Awadallah as saying that he has sought to use links with an unnamed Zionist person to retrieve his al-Quds residency papers to pursue real estate deals.
It also reveals new details on meetings that took place last year between Awadallah and Prince Hamzah, King Abudallah’s half-brother who was placed under house arrest in the latest crackdown over social media posts criticizing the monarchy.
Awadallah’s lawyer, Mohammad Afif, told CNN Arabic on Tuesday the alleged confessions cannot be confirmed nor denied at this stage, adding that the full investigation records will be made public after the start of the trial.
Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the Jordanian royal family, are the only two figures who remain in detention after the arrests that targeted 16 suspects over their alleged attempts to “destabilize” the kingdom in April.
According to the confessions that were part of a State Security Court report, Awadallah began his periodic meetings with Prince Hamzah in mid-2020. Awadallah said that these meetings were arranged by Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.
“Sharif Hassan informed me that Prince Hamzah is dissatisfied with the internal situation, and he wants to talk to me about this, and get advice from me, because I was a senior official in the royal court, and I am currently working in Saudi Arabia, and he is close to officials there,” the leaked document quoted him as saying.
Awadallah is a former adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and is also known to have close links to Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
“So I agreed to that, and indeed Prince Hamzah, in the same period, began to visit my house periodically, accompanied by Sharif Hassan, as it was clear from Prince Hamzah’s speech that he is spiteful of the king, and blames him for all the mistakes of the state and successive governments,” he added.
“And by virtue of my knowledge of Prince Hamzah’s position on the king, I began to reciprocate his proposals and incite him against the king that he really was the cause of the deterioration of the internal situation, and at that time Prince Hamzah told me that he had no trust [in the king].”
The rift in Jordan’s monarchy was triggered in March, when Prince Hamzah upstaged Jordan’s crown prince by visiting the city of Salt to console relatives of Covid-19 patients who died after a hospital ran out of oxygen six days before Prince Hussein made that trip.