Former Jordanian crown prince under house arrest over ‘coup plot’

Former Jordanian crown prince under house arrest over ‘coup plot’

The half-brother of Jordan’s head of state King Abdullah II is believed to have been placed under house arrest amid reports of an alleged coup attempt.

Authorities in the state detained several people on Saturday over what officials called a threat to the country’s “security and stability,” with Prince Hamzah bin Hussein – a former crown prince – said to be among those held.

Former senior officials close to the ruling monarchy were also among those arrested, according to state news agency Petra.

But the country’s top general denied Prince Hamzah – who was stripped of his title as crown prince in 2004 – was detained or under house arrest.

However, in a video statement leaked to the BBC, the reigning monarch’s half-brother said 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”.

He said his security detail was removed, and his phone and internet service had been cut and while he was speaking over satellite internet he expected that service to be cut as well. The BBC said it received the statement from Prince Hamzah’s lawyer.

In the statement, Prince Hamzah said he had been informed he was being punished for taking in part in meetings in which the king had been criticised, even though he himself was not accused of being a direct critic.