Jordan’s royal court has dismissed as “distorted” assertions made in the “Pandora Papers” that King Abdullah II built a $100 million global property empire through a network of offshore corporations.
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 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) investigation is based on the leak of 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services organizations, which involved 600 journalists from around the world.
While the papers do not accuse Abdullah II of criminal wrongdoing, they do claim that he set up a network of offshore corporations to buy luxurious homes in places like Malibu and California, as well as Washington and London.
The statement also said that the king had “personally funded” the properties and all related expenses.
“It is no secret that His Majesty has a number of apartments and houses in the United States and the United Kingdom,” Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court stated in a statement. This is neither unusual nor inappropriate.
“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”.