Jordanian king says half-brother to remain under house arrest

Published May 20, 2022
An AUG 2003 file picture shows Jordan’s King Abdullah, his wife Queen Rania, Crown Prince Hamzah bin al Hussein and Princess Noor bint Aasem bin Nayef at the engagement ceremony of Hamza and Noor.—AFP
An AUG 2003 file picture shows Jordan’s King Abdullah, his wife Queen Rania, Crown Prince Hamzah bin al Hussein and Princess Noor bint Aasem bin Nayef at the engagement ceremony of Hamza and Noor.—AFP

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II said on Thursday his half-brother Prince Hamzah, accused of involvement in a coup plot last year, is in a state of “delusion” and will remain under house arrest.

Authorities in Jordan announced in April last year that they had foiled a bid to destabilise the Western-allied kingdom, marking a rare crisis in a nation seen as a pillar of regional stability.

Two former officials were sentenced to 15 years in jail in July after they were found guilty of conspiring to topple the king. Prince Hamzah escaped prosecution but was ordered into house arrest.

The king said in a statement released on Thursday that his half-brother would remain under house arrest, and that further restrictions would be imposed upon him.

“A Royal Decree was issued, approving the recommendation of the council formed in accordance with the Royal Family Law, to restrict the communications, place of residence, and movement of Prince Hamzah,” the statement from the royal palace said.

“We will provide Hamzah with all that he requires to live a comfortable life, but he will not have the space he once abused to offend the nation, its institutions, and his family, nor to undermine Jordan’s stability,” Abdullah II said, in a letter to the Jordanian people.

“I will never allow our country to be held hostage to the whims of someone who has done nothing to serve his country,” he added.

Hamzah, 42, had in April announced he was “renouncing the title of prince”, a month after a royal court statement said he had apologised to the king for “his actions and offences”.

But Abdullah II said on Thursday that Hamzah had during the past year or so “exhausted all opportunities to restore himself on the right path”. “The delusion he lives in is not new,” the king said.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022

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