Hamza, a former Crown Prince until 2004, and others have been in contact with a foreign force to “destabilize security” in the Jordan, said Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi.
Half-brother of King Abdullah II of Jordan, 41-year-old Prince Hamza announced on Saturday that he had been placed under “house arrest” at his palace in Amman, after being accused by the army of activities against “the security of the kingdom”.
In a video sent to the British BBC broadcaster by his lawyer, the Jordanian prince said that the army chief of staff had visited his home and told him that he “could not leave”.
He denied participating in a plot and accused his country’s authorities of “corruption” and “incompetence”.
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said that the security services “had long followed the activities and movements of Prince Hamza bin Hussein, Sherif Hassan ben Zaid and Bassem Awadallah (former aide to the king) and others against the security and stability of the motherland “.
“The investigations have made it possible to monitor interventions and contacts with foreign parties to destabilize Jordan’s security,” he said.
Hamza is the eldest son of King Hussein and his American wife, Queen Noor, whose maiden name was Lisa Halaby. In accordance with the wishes of his father, who died in 1999, he was appointed crown prince when Abdullah became king. But in 2004, Abdullah II withdrew the title from Hamza and gave it to his eldest son, Hussein.
Safadi said between 14 and 16 suspects were detained.
According to him, the security services advised King Abdullah II to bring all persons involved before the State Security Court.
On Twitter, Queen Noor on Sunday denounced a “slander” and said “pray that truth and justice prevail for all innocent victims”.
In a statement, the Jordanian chief of staff, General Yussef Huneiti, said that Prince Hamza had been “called to halt activities that could be used to undermine the stability and security of the kingdom”, but denied his detention.
“Nobody is above the law. Jordan’s security and stability are the priority. All measures taken were within the scope of the law and were taken after a thorough investigation,” he added.
A Jordanian analyst, who declined to be identified for security reasons, said that recently Prince Hamza “had increased his criticism of what he calls government corruption in his circle of friends”.
According to him, “there is a certain resentment on his part because he never fully digested the loss of the title of crown prince”.
The Kingdom of Jordan, which will celebrate its centenary on April 11, is a small country that lacks natural resources and depends to a large extent on foreign aid.
Washington and the Gulf allies were quick to express their support for the pro-Western government in Amman, considered a stabilizing pillar in the Middle East.
US USA, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the situation was being monitored “very closely”.
“King Abdullah is a key ally of the United States and has our full support,” he added.
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also expressed support for the Jordanian king and all measures taken to ensure the country’s stability. /AFP
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