Defendants in ‘sedition’ case plead ‘not guilty’

AMMAN — Former senior official Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Abdul-Rahman Hassan Al Hashem on Monday pleaded “not guilty” to terrorism-related charges in the state security case dubbed “the sedition,” Awadallah’s lawyer, Mohammad Afifi, told Jordan News.اضافة اعلان

During the first hearing in the case at the State Security Court, held behind closed doors at 11am Monday, the court heard two witnesses from the prosecution, out of a total of five listed witnesses, according to Afifi.

The session was adjourned until tomorrow, according to the lawyer.

A leaked video from inside the court purportedly showed a handcuffed Awadallah being escorted by security personnel into the courtroom building.

The court session was presided over by Military Judge Muwaffaq Al-Masaeed, according to Al Mamlaka TV.

Former senior official Awadallah and Sharif Hussein stand accused of being complicit in incitement against the state, in violation of Article 149/1 of the law, as well as the crime of being complicit in carrying out acts that would endanger society and security and sow sedition, in violation of articles two and seven of the 2006 Anti-Terrorism Law and its amendments.

The indictment list also included the possession of narcotics for the purpose of personal use, as well as the use of narcotics.

In remarks to Jordan News earlier, Mohammad Afifi, Awadallah’s lawyer, said that "Regardless of the public and media attention, the court will only consider what is admitted in the case file. The proceedings and procedures are clearly described and stipulated in the Code of Criminal Procedure."

Afifi expected the court proceedings to be relatively short.

"I do not think it will exceed four or five months. The prosecution has five witnesses and the defense witnesses are in Jordan so it should not be hard to bring them to the witness stand."

Leaked photographs obtained by Jordan News purportedly show the defendant inside the courthouse, guided by military personnel. The trial is closed to the press.

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