Leaks of Jordanian king’s Swiss bank accounts are misleading, palace says

Jordan’s King Abdullah II speaks during his visit to the Eastern Military Zone along the Jordanian-Syrian border, Jordan February 14, 2022. Jordanian Royal Palace/Handout via Reuters

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AMMAN, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Leaks about money held by Jordan’s King Abdullah in accounts at Swiss bank Credit Suisse contain “inaccurate, outdated and misleading” information, Jordan’s royal palace said on Monday.

Data leaks containing details of thousands of bank accounts at Credit Suisse from the 1940s to the 2010s were published by multiple media outlets on Sunday. Read more

Reports suggested the Jordanian monarch had at least six accounts with tens of millions of Swiss francs.

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“These recent reports are being used to smear Her Majesty and Jordan and distort the truth,” the palace said in a statement, adding that the figures were exaggerated because the amounts in the accounts had been counted multiple times.

The statement said most of the money was in several reports related to the replacement of planes the monarch had inherited from his father, the late King Hussein.

He cited a $212 million sale of an Airbus 340 plane that was replaced by a smaller, less expensive Gulfstream jet currently used by the monarch.

The statement said these savings were used along with the monarch’s personal wealth to cover the expenses of the royal family, including royal initiatives across the country in recent years to help disadvantaged people.

The palace said these bank accounts were independent of state or public funds and were administered by the Privy Purse, a department responsible for royal spending created 70 years ago.

The leak comes months after another data dump collectively called the ‘Pandora Papers’ alleged that Abdullah, a close US ally, used offshore accounts to spend more than $100 million on luxury homes in the United States. United States and Great Britain. Read more

The palace then said that the king had personally purchased the properties and that no funds from the state budget or treasury had been used.

The leaked documents coincide with the disenchantment of the Jordanians. The country has witnessed street protests over economic hardship, high youth unemployment and lack of progress on political reform.

Opposition politicians say Abdullah has not done enough to tackle corruption in state agencies, where nepotism and poor governance have undermined popular trust in the ruling elite.

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Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Heavens

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Shawanda H. Saldana