AMMAN: The Jordanian Royal Court on Monday rejected “inaccurate” and “exaggerated” news reports on lavish properties owned by King Abdullah II abroad.
The court said the king’s ownership of foreign residences is no secret and he uses them during his official visits.
The reports, published in several news organizations, including the BBC, included “inaccuracies and distorted and exaggerated the facts.”
“It is no secret that His Majesty owns a number of apartments and residences in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is not unusual nor improper,” the statement said.
The property details were published as part of leaked offshore financial documents dubbed the “Pandora Papers.”
The reports claimed that King Abdullah owns lavish properties worth more than $100 million in the US and UK.
The leaked financial documents claimed that the king used secretly owned firms to buy 15 properties since his accession to the throne in 1999.
The Royal Court said the details of the properties were not publicized due to privacy and security concerns, “particularly in light of heightened security risks.”
“His Majesty uses these properties during official visits and hosts officials and foreign dignitaries there. The King and his family members also stay in some of these properties during private visits,” the statement said. “These properties are not publicized out of security and privacy concerns, and not out of secrecy or an attempt to hide them, as these reports have claimed.”
The measures to maintain privacy are crucial for a head of state in King Abdullah’s position, the statement added.
The Royal Court described the publication of these reports as a “flagrant security breach and a threat to His Majesty’s and his family’s safety.”
“The cost of these properties and all related expenditures have been personally funded by His Majesty. None of these expenses have been funded by the state budget or treasury. This also applies to the personal expenditures of His Majesty and his family,” the statement said.
In response to some of the reports comparing the king’s ownership of extravagant properties with Jordan’s reliance on foreign assistance, the Royal Court said: “Any allegations that link these private properties to public funds or assistance are baseless and deliberate attempts to distort facts.”
“Such allegations are defamatory and designed to target Jordan’s reputation as well as His Majesty’s credibility and the critical role he plays regionally and internationally.”
During a meeting on Monday with tribal leaders and notables from the kingdom’s central Badia region, King Abdullah said there is a “campaign” against Jordan.
“There is a campaign against Jordan and it is not the first time. We are stronger than these campaigns.”
The king said “there is nothing to hide,” adding that there are parties seeking to sabotage the country.