The young prince was going on to deliver an apology to his half-brother only previous month while being under house arrest since last year for an alleged coup attempt.

Jordan’s former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein renounced his title after being implicated in an alleged coup plot against King Abdullah II. 

Hamzah bin Hussein is the son of the late King Hussein, and half-brother to the current king Abdullah II. He became crown prince following the death of his father in 1999. Hamzah was stripped of his position by King Abdullah II in 2004, who appointed his son heir to the throne. 

Hamzah, in a statement posted on Twitter, announced he was "renouncing the title of prince", a month after a royal court statement said he had apologised to the king for last year's aborted coup and pledged allegiance to him.

The former crown prince was placed under house arrest a year ago, after releasing a video describing suppression of critics and rampant corruption among the nation’s elites. 

"After what I have witnessed over the past years, I have come to the conclusion that my personal convictions and the values that my father instilled in me… are not in line with the approaches, trends or modern methods of our institutions," reads a signed statement shared from his Twitter on Sunday.

"From the matter of honesty to God and conscience, I see nothing but to transcend and abandon the title of prince. I had the great honour of serving my beloved country and my dear people over the years of my life.

Foreign hands

Jordanian authorities have claimed the former crown prince had conspired with foreign actors, amid claims by Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh that hundreds of thousands of fake social media accounts from neighbouring Arab countries are seeking to disturb the official narrative and state’s stability.

The Prime Minister also claimed that the political endgame of the most recent intrigue was to weaken King Abdullah II, described as a “stumbling block” to any plans that would subvert the Palestinian issue.

While the state’s narrative has gone largely unquestioned in the Hashemite kingdom, it remains to be seen whether it is believed. 

Critics have questioned inconsistencies within the state narrative, which claim Hamza’s online behaviour and popular appearances posed a threat to the royal family’s stability on the one hand, followed by claims of the former Crown Prince’s role in a conspiracy involving hostile external actors. 

Details regarding how the former prince’s role from house arrest has yet to be provided and are all the more relevant given the high degree of scrutiny Hamzah was subject to following a closed trial in July 2021 that claimed to identify a plot promoting Hamzah as king.

What’s in a coup?

In April 2021, Jordan’s Armed Forces warned the former crown prince to cease actions that targeted “security and stability.” Hamzah, tweeting from house arrest, stated that he would not comply with orders not to use Twitter but would not seek escalation.

Following mediation by Prince Hassan bin Talal, uncle to King Abdullah and Hamzah, the former crown prince signed a letter reaffirming his allegiance.

"In light of the developments of the past two days I put myself in the hands of the king, following the steps of my forefathers," he writes. 

King Abdullah II later revealed that the crisis began after a visit by Jordanian Armed Forces Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yousef Huneiti, who visited the former crown prince and warned him to stop attending meetings organised by government critics

In a leaked voice recording, General Huneiti can be heard admonishing the crown prince for attending subversive gatherings, while requesting he cease tweeting.

Before describing his words as discourteous, Hamzah can be heard calling for the general’s car.

“You are telling me what to do and who to meet, in the name of my country? Did you come here to threaten me? You tell me not to leave and interact with people?,” asks Hamzah. 

General Huneiti can be heard repeatedly denying that was his intent. 

“Is the mismanagement of the state my fault? Am I responsible for the ongoing failures?” adds Hamzah. 

Nearly a month later, Hamzah would recant his stance in a broadly distributed letter of apology shared by the Jordanian News Agency.  

"I had the great honour of serving my beloved country and dear people in this capacity throughout the years of my life," he wrote.

"I will remain as long as I live faithful to our beloved Jordan."

Reporting on the alleged plot was also banned by the country’s prosecutor-general. 

Source: TRT World