Prince Hamza planned to ‘destabilise Jordan’ with foreign parties, says country’s deputy PM

Jordan’s Prince Hamza bin al-Hussein planned to “destabilise” the country in a plot which involved “foreign parties”, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.

Foreign minister and deputy PM Ayman Safadi said Jordanian intelligence had intercepted certain communications at what he called the “zero hour”.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Safadi addressed the situation in the Middle Eastern country which saw almost 20 people arrested.

Mr Safadi said that a “foreign intelligence agency” had been in contact with Prince Hamza‘s wife to supply them with a plane out of the country.

He said: “The investigations had monitored interferences and communications with foreign parties over the right timing to destabilise Jordan.

“Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country, but his majesty decided it was best to talk directly to Prince Hamza, to deal with it within the family to prevent it from being exploited.”

It comes after Prince Hamza spoke in a video leaked to several broadcasters, saying he was visited early on Saturday by the country’s military chief and told “I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them”.

Prince Hamza is a former crown prince, as his half-brother King Abdullah removed him from the line of succession in 2004.

The pair share a father in the late King Hussein, but have different mothers.

Prince Hamza’s mother, Queen Noor of Jordan, said in a tweet: “Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe.”

Mr Safadi said that Prince Hamza and those who had been detained will be referred to the state security court.

Asked whether anyone in the military had been detained, the deputy PM said “there is no talk of arresting any members of the armed forces” in connection with the plot.

Some 14 to 16 people were arrested, Mr Safadi said, as well as two other senior officials whose detentions had been previously confirmed.

In a statement posted by Jordan’s state news agency on Saturday, it was said that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, another member of the royal family, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former confidant of King Abdullah II, had been arrested.

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