Published On: Mon, Apr 12th, 2021

No charges against Jordanian prince over ‘destabilisation’ plot

No charges against Jordanian prince over ‘destabilisation’ plot

Prime minister tells parliament there was no coup attempt, despite recent political crisis

MEE and agencies Mon, 04/12/2021 – 16:16

Jordan’s Prince Hamzah will not face trial after an apparent reconciliation with his half-brother King Abdullah (AFP)

The half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah will not face trial after recent accusations of sedition, the country’s prime minister told a closed session of parliament on Monday.

Lawmakers who attended the meeting quoted Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh as saying that the dispute had been solved within the family, while denying there had been an “attempted coup”.

On Sunday, the former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein appeared alongside the king for the first time since being accused earlier this month of being part of a conspiracy to “destabilise the kingdom’s security” and placed under house arrest. 

King Abdullah on Wednesday said the crisis had been ended after Hamzah agreed to sign a pledge of loyalty. He also said that Hamzah was being taken care of by the palace. 

EXCLUSIVE: Jordan’s Prince Hamzah says he was spied on during 2019 trip

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In response to Khasawneh’s claim that there had been no coup, Islamist MP Saleh al-Armouti told AFP: “So if there hadn’t been a coup, what happened?”

Khasawneh said a file concerning the case was handed over to the prosecution on Monday, Armouti added.

“But the premier did not say if the case was submitted to the prosecutor of the state security court or to a normal tribunal.”

After claiming he had been put under house arrest on 3 April, Hamzah spoke out using social media and the press, accusing Jordan’s rulers of corruption and ineptitude before rolling back his comments in a statement and voicing loyalty to the king.

However, the UN said on Friday it was concerned that Hamzah was still under house arrest, despite having not faced charges. It also expressed concern about a lack of transparency for the other 16 people arrested. 

‘Bid to destabilise security’

Independent MP Khalil Atiyeh told AFP that the prime minister, during his briefing to parliament, “did not use the terms conspiracy or coup d’etat”.

“He denied that there had been a coup but spoke of a bid to destabilise security”, in Jordan, Atiyeh said.

An audio recording given to Middle East Eye on Friday revealed that Hamzah had been spied on by the Jordanian secret police while he was on holiday in Vienna in 2019. 

An alleged Jordanian spy told Hamzah that he was sent to spy on him by the ruling monarchy. 

“After he confessed, he started to kiss me on my head. ‘Please sir, don’t tell anyone. You’d destroy my future.’ What is this? It’s horrible,” Hamzah says in the recording, which appears to have been a private message.

A leaked video of the interaction between Hamzah and the alleged spy shows the prince telling the security official: “You’re coming to take photos of me, and now you tell me you don’t want your picture taken?”

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