Jordan 'coup plot' trial set for verdict Monday: lawyer

Jordan 'coup plot' trial set for verdict Monday: lawyer
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Former royal court chief Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, once a special envoy to Riyadh, have pleaded not guilty to "incitement against the ruling system" and "acts that could threaten society and create sedition".
King Abdullah appointed Hamza as crown prince in 1999, at the request of his late father, but removed him from the post in 2004, later appointing his son, Prince Hussein, as next in line to the throne [Getty]

A Jordan court is expected to issue a verdict next Monday in a trial over an alleged plot to overthrow Jordan's king in favour of his half-brother Prince Hamza, a defence lawyer said.

Former royal court chief Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, once a special envoy to Riyadh, have pleaded not guilty to "incitement against the ruling system" and "acts that could threaten society and create sedition".

"The State Security Court set Monday's hearing for the reading of the verdict," bin Zaid's lawyer Alaa al-Khasawneh told AFP on Tuesday.

He spoke after a hearing in which a 23-page dossier was presented summarising the case for the defence.

He said the defence team had asked the court to "find both our clients innocent of the charges against them".

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King Abdullah appointed Hamza as crown prince in 1999, at the request of his late father, but removed him from the post in 2004, later appointing his son, Prince Hussein, as next in line to the throne.

Authorities have said the former crown prince would not stand trial as his case had been resolved within the royal family.

The court had last week rejected a defence request to summon three princes, along with Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi as witnesses, calling it "unproductive".

The charges against Awadallah and bin Zaid were made public on June 13 and they face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.