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Jordan releases 16, keeps two arrested for sedition | Stories of Abdullah II

The prosecutor freed 16 prisoners at the king’s request, but doubted the two would remain in jail.

Jordanian prosecutor has released 16 people arrested for “sedition” at the behest of King Abdullah II, state media reported, and within three weeks the plot to “destroy the country” was thwarted.

However, state prosecutor General Hazem al-Majali said on Thursday that two other suspects – Bassem Awadallah, a former prime minister, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, Saudi Arabia’s special envoy – should remain in jail.

The two were not released because of “their different roles, the nature of their papers, and the amount of motives that differ from their opponents who were released,” al-Majali said, according to a news agency in Petra.

King Abdullah was told by a royal court that he had called for the release of “brothers” who had been “misled, tortured, dragged behind the attack” so that they could have a family as soon as possible during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Official reporters said the king did so after being pressured by several people from across the Jordan who asked him to show tolerance.

When the news broke of the plot earlier this month, Abdullah’s brother, Prince Hamzah, is suspected of involvement. But officials said he would not try later because his case was settled out of court.

Following his arrest on April 3, Hamzah made extensive use of cultural and the media to address this issue.

He accused Jordanian authorities of corruption and indifference in a video message published by the BBC that day.

But later, Abdullah said Hamzah had provided the king’s support and loyalty and was now under his “protection”.

Speaking of public turmoil in the royal family for the first time, the king said on April 7 the “rebellion” that causes him to “feel pain and anger” is over. The brothers later appeared together in public.

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