Jordan's former Crown Prince accused of attempt to destabilise country
Jordan's government has accused former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein and his aides of being in contact with "foreign parties" about the "right timing to destabilise" the country.
The move follows the announcement by Hamzah, the half-brother of the country's ruler King Abdullah II on Saturday, that he has been placed under house arrest.
At a press briefing on Sunday Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said that security officials had intercepted communications between Hamzah, his circle, and foreign parties about an alleged plan that he claimed would undermine the country's stability and security, the DW Agency news reported.
Safadi said Hamzah had engaged in "recent activities and movements" that aimed to incite people against the state.
The deputy prime minister said authorities on Saturday had arrested between 14 to 16 people, as well as two main top officials. Among those detained were Hassan bin Zaid, a member of Jordan's royal family and envoy to Saudi Arabia and Bassem Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister and a longtime confidant of the king.
At Sunday's press conference Safadi as quoted by the DW Agency as saying that King Abdullah II will discuss the situation with Hamzah, his half-brother, directly and within the royal family.
Jordan's army chief said on Saturday that Hamzah was not under arrest, but had been asked to stop "some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan." But the prince has disputed this in a video message.
In a video statement, the former crown prince described how he had been ordered to remain in his home incommunicado with his wife and children, reported New York Times.
"Since then, a number of the people I know -- or my friends -- have been arrested, my security has been removed, and the internet and phone lines have been cut," the former crown prince of Jordan said.