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Jordan king says 'delusional' half-brother to remain under house arrest

AFP logo AFP 5/19/2022 AFP
Prince Hamzah is seen delivering a speech in 2009 © Attila KISBENEDEK Prince Hamzah is seen delivering a speech in 2009

Jordan's King Abdullah II said 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 in favour of Prince Hamzah, who escaped prosecution in favour of 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.

Hamzah had last month announced he was "renouncing the title of prince", a month after a royal court statement said he had apologised to the king for the attempted coup.

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.

"Not long after vowing to renounce his erroneous ways, he goes back on his promises and returns to the path he chose years ago, putting his interests before the nation."

The two officials convicted last year were former royal court chief Bassem Awadallah and an ex-envoy to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.

Both have close ties to Riyadh, and were found guilty of "incitement against the ruling system" and "acts that could threaten society and create sedition".

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