Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his alleged purchase of more than 100 100 million worth of property was kept quiet due to security concerns for himself and his family.
Issued by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Pandora Papers. On Sunday, it reported that hundreds of world leaders, celebrities, religious leaders, drug dealers and others have been hiding investments in real estate and other assets for the past 25 years.
Abdullah denied any wrongdoing by buying the property, saying he had been kept quiet over security concerns. He also said that the properties are used for government purposes.
“These properties are not made public due to security and privacy concerns, nor by confidentiality or attempts to conceal them, as claimed in these reports,” the palace said in a statement. “Steps to maintain privacy are important for a head of state.”
He also called the consortium’s report on Abdullah’s real estate portfolio a “clear breach of security and a threat to his dignity and the safety of his family.”
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Abdullah, whose popularity was affected earlier this year when his stepbrother accused the country’s leadership of corruption, said he remained silent about the transaction due to security concerns. He also said that no public funds were used.
Aside from possible domestic repercussions, the report threatens to affect Jordan’s critical relations with the international community. Jordan, seen as a stable, supports the West in an unstable region, relying on billions of dollars in international aid.
A statement from the Royal Hashemite Court on Monday stated that “any allegation linking these private properties to public funds or aid is baseless and an attempt to distort the facts.”
He said any such suggestion was “defamatory and designed to target Jordan’s reputation as well as its greatness.”
But in a sign disturbed by reports of the palace purchase, the Jordanian media, most of whom have direct or indirect control of the palace, made no mention of it. Even independent Jordanian media outlets engage in self-censorship, avoiding criticism of the king, the royal family and the security forces.
The consortium said the report was based on a review of about 12 million files from 14 firms around the world. It is being dubbed. Pandora Papers. Because these results shed light on the previously hidden cases of the elite and the corrupt, and how they have used offshore accounts to save billions of dollars worth of assets.
In Abdullah’s case, the investigation found that advisers helped King Jordan set up at least three dozen shell companies from 1995 to 2017, helping King buy 14 homes in the United States worth more than 6 106 million. And the UK had ڈالر 23 million worth of California seas. The property was purchased in 2017 by a British Virgin Islands company. The advisers were identified as an English accountant in Switzerland and a lawyer in the British Virgin Islands.
Jordan is a key Western ally in the Middle East, where it is seen as a voice for moderation and stability. But during Abdullah’s two decades in power, his economy struggled, with the recent influx of millions of refugees from neighboring Syria and the Corona virus crisis. Jordan has received billions of dollars in aid from the international community over the years to stabilize its founding economy.
The report came as Abdullah was hosting its president. World Bank, Who was on an official visit to discuss the state’s economy. Earlier this year, the World Bank announced a 1 1.1 billion package of loans and grants to help Jordan respond to epidemics, bringing unemployment to about 25 percent.
Abdullah’s government was rocked by a scandal earlier this year when his half-brother, former Crown Prince Hamza, accused the “ruling system” of corruption and incompetence. The king claimed to be the victim of a “malicious conspiracy”, placed Hamza under house arrest and prosecuted two former close associates.
Hamza has been seen in public only once since the scandal broke in April, and is out of contact under the king’s “protection”.
Amir Sabelia, an independent Jordanian analyst, said Sunday’s report did not look good for the king, given the kingdom’s vast economic woes and the government’s image and reputation after the Hamza affair.
He said that this comes at a time when people’s frustration is on the rise and the government is suffering from a severe lack of credibility in the entire political system.
But another analyst, Labib Kamahawi, said it was too early to say whether there would be a long-term loss to the king – but it was certain to raise eyebrows internationally.
“It is bound to affect Jordan’s ability to easily ask for help,” he said. “Business as usual, it won’t last as long as this information is floating around the world.”