Egyptian and Syrian roles in an international plot hatched in the Jordanian Army, to kill King Hussein and create a near-Communist republic in Jordan were describe at the opening session of a military tribunal in Amman on Saturday, July 27.
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Background: Egyptian and Syrian roles in an international plot hatched in the Jordanian Army, to kill King Hussein and create a near-Communist republic in Jordan were describe at the opening session of a military tribunal in Amman on Saturday, July 27.
The accused are 22 Jordanians, 21 officers and Mr. Rimawi, the former Foreign Minister, who are charged with complicity in a plot against the King's life and attempting to overthrow the Constitution by violence. The officers include two former Army Commanders, General Nuwar and General Hayari, together with a former inspector-general of the Police, General Mayata.
After an opening statement by the prosecution, counsel for the accused complained that they had not been given enough time to study the charges and they asked for an adjournment. The hearing was then suspended until Tuesday, July 30.
All the charges carry the death penalty. Eight of the accused escaped across the frontier into Syria when the attempted coup d'etat collapsed and are being tried in their absence.
They are: General Nuwar, General Hayari, Lt. Col. Mussa, Major Kassim, Nasser, Capt. Helawani, Capt. Jundi and Mr. Rimawi.
Of the 14 in court, all but two were in the full uniform with flowing red check headcloths.
The presiding officers, Lt. Col. Akkash Ezzain; Lt. Col. Bargouthi and Lt. Col. Baslan, sat on a dias above which was a picture of King Hussein draped with Jordanian flags.
Prosecuting, Lt. Col. Saadi, head of the Army commission which investigated the plot, said that on the night of April 13, King Hussein drove his car from his Palace with General Nuwar, whom he had ordered to accompany him, in a battle between two Army units.
While the King was addressing Army officers and frustrating an encircling movement on the palace by a tank unit under the command of 2nd Lt. Hayari, a captain was seen placing a mine on a bridge over which the King would have to cross. He was shot in the shoulder by a guard and the mine removed.
All the plotters had been holding secret meetings since mid-October. When the King dismissed his pro-Communist Prime Minister, Mr. Nabulsi, early in April, both Army Commanders warned him to re-instate Mr. Narbulsi.
It was part of the plot that if Iraq troops were sent to aid Jordan, the Syrian Army would be launched against them. If Israel attempted to occupy the west bank of the River Jordan, Egypt would attack Israel.
The plotters apparently were satisfied that if a United States forces intervened against them they could rely on Russian support. A plot to assassinate the leading Jordanians had been traced to the Egyptian Military Attache at Amman, Major Hilal.