Jordan ex-royal court chief pleads not guilty to destabilising monarchy

A police vehicle is parked outside the military court where the trial of former royal court chief Bassem Awadallah and a minor royal, Sherif Hassan Zaid, is set to take place in Amman, Jordan June 21, 2021.REUTERS/Jehad Shelbak

AMMAN (Reuters) - A former Jordanian royal court chief and a low-ranking member of the royal family pleaded 'Not guilty' on Monday to charges of agitating to destabilise the monarchy, one of their lawyers said.

Prosecutors had referred to a military court the case of Bassem Awadallah, an ex-royal court chief and finance minister who played a big role in the drive to liberalise Jordan's economy, and Sherif Hassan Zaid, a distant relative of King Abdullah.

During the first session of the trial on Monday, both pleaded not guilty, according to Mohamed Afif, Awadallah's lawyer.

(Reporting By Suleiman al-Khalidi; writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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