The chief advisor to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Basem Awadallah, who holds American citizenship alongside Jordanian and Saudi Arabia, claimed that he was tortured in his detention facility in Jordan.
Awadallah said that he feared for his life, according to his American lawyer, on Sunday, on the eve of the verdict hearing in a case that became known as the Sedition Case.
Michael Sullivan, a former US attorney who was hired by the US-based family of the accused, Bassem Awadallah, said that in addition to the allegations of abuse, the closed-doors trial in Jordan’s State Security Court was “completely unfair.”
The allegations of abuse, which Jordanian officials denied on Sunday, were raised no more than a few days before a scheduled meeting between the Jordanian monarch and US President Joe Biden, on July 19, making King Abdullah the first Arab leader to receive the US president at the White House.
Awadallah and the second defendant, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a cousin of King Abdullah, pleaded not guilty to charges of sedition and incitement, which are punishable by long prison terms in Jordanian law.
The two defendants, along with a member of the royal family, Prince Hamzah, the king’s half-brother, are accused of fomenting unrest against the king with the help of foreign support.
The indictment portrayed Prince Hamzah as a disgruntled royal who never forgave Abdullah for stripping him of the title of the crown prince in 2004.
Hamza, who was placed under house arrest last April and who has only been seen in public since the case came to light, has denied accusations of incitement against the king and said he is being punished for his public criticism of corruption.
For its part, the State Security Court’s Prosecutor’s Office denied allegations that the trial was unfair.
In a statement to the Associated Press, he said that Awadallah “was given a fair trial” in line with Jordanian law.
He added, “He was not subjected to any abuse of any kind, and his claim that he was subjected to torture of any kind, is not true.”
Despite the serious nature of the allegations attributed to Awadallah and Bin Zaid, the trial ended in six sessions, not more.
The court rejected the requests of the Jordanian defense representatives and the prosecution only showed the defense hard copies, but not audio recordings from the monitors of the alleged conspirators.