Jordan says Pandora Papers claims ‘distorted’, security threat
Jordan’s royal court Monday rejected as “distorted” claims made in the “Pandora Papers” that King Abdullah II created a network of offshore companies to build a $100 million overseas property empire.
It said that the reports “included inaccuracies and distorted and exaggerated the facts”, and that revealing the properties’ addresses was “a flagrant security breach and a threat to His Majesty’s and his family’s safety”.
The statement also said that the king had “personally funded” the properties and all related expenses.
The investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), involving some 600 journalists from media worldwide, is based on the leak of some 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies.
While not alleging criminal wrong-doing by Abdullah II, the reports allege he created a network of offshore companies to quietly purchase luxury residences from Malibu and California to Washington and London.
Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court said in its statement that “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.
“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 the location of the properties was not publicised “out of security and privacy concerns, and not out of secrecy or an attempt to hide them, as these reports have claimed”.
“As such, the act of revealing these addresses by some media outlets is a flagrant security breach and a threat to His Majesty’s and his family’s safety.”
“Any allegations that link these private properties to public funds or assistance are baseless and deliberate attempts to distort facts,” it added.
The palace also stressed that “all public finances and international assistance are subject to professional audits, and their allocations are fully accounted for by the government and donor entities”. AFP