Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday (April 4) that former crown prince, Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah’s half-brother, had liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilise the kingdom and had been under investigation for some time.
Speaking at a news conference, Safadi addressed the situation in the Middle Eastern country which saw
14 to 16 people, as well as two main top officials arrested.
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. He did not identify the “foreign parties” allegedly involved in the plot.
In a video passed by his lawyer to the BBC, Hamzah has said that he has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown on critics, and has denied being a part of any conspiracy against the government or King Abdullah.
“[Jordanians’] wellbeing has been put second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, that its corruption is more important than the lives and dignity and future of the 10 million people who live here,” Hamzah said in the video speaking in English.
Hamzah’s mother, Queen Noor, King Abdullah’s stepmother, in a Twitter post described the allegations as a “wicked slander” and called for “truth and justice to prevail”.
Hamza, 41, a popular figure in Jordan, was the crown prince for four years before the title was transferred in 2004 to the current king’s eldest son, Hussein .
The alleged plot comes at a time of significant discontent among Jordanians dealing with an economy that was sluggish even before Covid-19 struck. Jordan’s stability is crucial to the region as it sits at the crossroads of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The country, an island of stability in a turbulent region, borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Iraq.
With reporting by Al Jazeera, BBC and agencies