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Jordan bans media coverage of royal dispute

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Prince Hamzah bin Hussein (R) with a brother, Prince Hashem bin Hussein, are seen at the opening of the parliament in Amman, Jordan, in 2006. (File photo by AP)

Jordan's prosecutor general has banned the publication of any information related to a coup attempt involving the half-brother of King Abdullah II, Prince Hamzah.

"In order to keep the security services' investigation into Prince Hamzah and the others secret, (a decision has been made) to ban the publication of anything related to this inquiry at this stage," Hassan al-Abdallat, the prosecutor general in the capital, Amman, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The ban on publication involves all audiovisual media and social networks, as well as the publication of all images or video clips relating to this subject on pain of legal action," added the statement, which was carried by state television.

In an unprecedented public row with King Abdullah II, Prince Hamzah said on Saturday that he had been placed under house arrest, accusing the kingdom's ruling system of corruption, incompetence, and harassment.

Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that Hamzah and others, who had been under investigation for some time, had liaised with a foreign regime about a plot to "undermine the security" of the kingdom.

He added that a foreign intelligence agency had contacted Hamzah's wife on Saturday to organize a plane for the couple to leave Jordan, without elaborating.

Jordan's Ammon news agency on Sunday cited an "informed source" as saying that a former Mossad officer called Roy Shaposhnik had offered to move the wife of the former crown prince out of the country with their children.

Although the report was later omitted, Shaposhnik confirmed that he had offered to host Prince Hamzah's family on the basis of his personal friendship with the former crown prince, but denied having been a Mossad agent.

Late on Monday, Hamzah pledged loyalty to King Abdullah II after mediation by the royal family.

"I will remain... faithful to the legacy of my ancestors, walking on their path, loyal to their path and their message and to His Majesty," he said in a signed letter, quoted by the royal palace shortly after he vowed not to obey orders restricting his movement.

"I will always be ready to help and support His Majesty the King and his Crown Prince," he was quoted as writing.

King Abdullah II removed Prince Hamzah as heir to the throne in 2004.


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