The former Crown Prince of Jordan said on Saturday night (3) that he is under “house arrest” and denied having participated in a plot against his half brother, King Abdullah II.
In a video broadcast to the BBC, Prince Hamza said that the army chief of staff came to his home and told him that “he was not allowed to leave”.
The prince guarantees that he did not participate in any conspiracy and that “he is not responsible for the degradation of governance, corruption and incompetence” of the authorities of his country.
Earlier, the army denied that he was detained and said it asked him to cease activities that could threaten the country’s stability.
Two other people close to the Jordanian royal family were detained on Saturday for “security reasons”.
In videos posted on the internet, there was a great police mobilization in the Dabuq region, close to the royal palaces.
Hamza is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and his American wife, Queen Noor. Officially, he has good relations with Abdullah II and is popular, close to tribal leaders.
Abdullah had named heir-prince his half-brother Hamza, in response to his father’s wishes, but in 2004 he withdrew the title and gave it to his eldest son, Hussein.
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that the former Crown Prince had been “put under restraint” as part of an investigation into an alleged plot against the king.
“The move followed the discovery of what palace officials described as a complex and far-reaching plot,” reported the newspaper, citing a former Middle East intelligence official.
According to the Washington Post, the alleged plot “included at least one other member of Jordan’s royal family, as well as tribal leaders and members of the country’s security apparatus.”
In a statement, the chairman of the chiefs of staff, General Yusef Huneiti, denied that Prince Hamza was among the detainees. “What was published about Prince Hamza’s arrest is not true,” he said.
However, “he was asked to cease some activities that could be used to threaten Jordan’s stability and security.”
– “Security reasons” –
According to the official Jordanian agency, Petra, Bassem Awadallah, head of the royal court in 2007-2008, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid were among the detainees, although he did not detail how many people were arrested.
Sherif is a title given to people close to Jordan’s royal family.
The two men were detained for “security reasons” after an operation, the agency reported, citing a security source.
Bassem Awadallah, a former minister of finance and planning, was close to the king of Jordan and also a controversial figure in his country.
Before becoming head of the royal court in 2007, he was head of the king’s office in 2006.
Awadallah resigned as head of the royal court in 2008 due to criticism of his alleged interference in controversial political and economic issues.
Some deputies, politicians and journalists have accused him of meddling in the country’s privatization plans.
Two Jordanian allies quickly expressed support for King Abdullah II.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington “was following this information closely.”
“We’re […] contact Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States and has our full support, ”he said.
Saudi Arabia responded by expressing “its full support for the kingdom of Jordan […] and the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein to safeguard security and stability ”.
The arrests took place days before the kingdom’s centennial celebration. On April 11, 1921, King Abdullah, head of the new state of Transjordan, formed his first government after the creation of the emirate in March 1921, together with Palestine during the British term.
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