Jordan's Prince Hamzah has said he will refuse to obey orders while being held under house arrest following accusations he plotted a coup against King Abdullah II - his half-brother - by the country's deputy prime minister.
'I am going to escalate and won't obey when they tell you you cannot go out or tweet or reach out to people and are only allowed to see the family,' he said in the recording he circulated to friends and contacts on Sunday.
On Saturday the military warned the prince over actions it said were undermining 'security and stability' in Jordan, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. Prince Hamza later said he was under house arrest, and several high-profile figures were also detained.
The message came after Princess Firyal of Jordan - the prince's aunt and the former sister in-law of Jordan's Queen Noor Al Hussein, who is Prince Hamzah's mother - publicly waded into the on-going fallout surrounding the accusations.
Princess Firyal, who was married to Queen Noor's brother-in-law until their divorce in 1978, accused Queen Noor of 'blind ambition' and her son of having a 'sense of entitlement' in a tweet on Sunday morning, that she has since deleted.
'The seemingly blind ambition of Queen Noor & her sons is delusional, futile, unmerited, false sense of entitlement. The all should know better,' Firyal wrote.
O'Such as the constitutional succession act, father to eldest son, experienced with uninterrupted service record. Grow up boys,' she added.
Jordan accuses Prince Hamzah of plot to destabilise country https://t.co/W0Ul0CL05A— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 4, 2021
Officials announced on Sunday that Prince Hamza had liaised with people who had contacts with foreign parties in a plot to destabilise the country and he had been under investigation for some time.
Woah. Apparent Coup Attempt Thwarted in #Jordan. Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah Arrested.— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 3, 2021
Biggest news we get from Kingdom since 1999. King Abdullah II is close ally of Washington: https://t.co/a8XTB1ybxH
It is unclear why the kingdom decided to crack down on Prince Hamza now, but he put himself at risk by making frequent visits to tribal gatherings where some people criticised the king.
Jordan's Prince Hamzah defiant after being put under house arrest https://t.co/OWu8XX9zqv— The Guardian (@guardian) April 5, 2021
Officials said efforts were underway to resolve the crisis within the royal family, in the first such open rift in many years, but Prince Hamza was not cooperative.
King Abdullah removed Prince Hamza from his position as heir to the throne in 2004, in a move that consolidated his power.
The pair share former king Hussein bin Talal of Jordan as a father. He died in 1999, but were born to different mothers. Hussein bin Talal had four wives, and was succeeded by now-king Abdullah in the year of his death.
The US State Department described King Abdullah as a "key partner" and said he "has our full support"https://t.co/np7NkpiOpR— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) April 4, 2021
Also on Sunday, Queen Noor slammed the claims that her son plotted a coup as 'wicked slander'.
The American-born Jordanian royal, 69, said she hoped 'praying that truth and justice will prevail' following the reported detainment of her son Prince Hamzah bin Hussein.
Prince Hamzah is the son of the late King Hussein of Jordan and fourth wife Queen Noor.
He is the half-brother of the reigning King Abdullah II and was previously the Crown Prince of the middle eastern country - a key ally of the US - before being unexpectedly replaced by one of King Abdullah's sons.
Jordan's deputy Prime Minister accused the former crown prince of conspiring with foreign powers in a 'malicious plot' that he claimed had threatened national security.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters that the alleged 'destabilisation' plot had been foiled at the 'zero hour'.
Mr Safadi did not mention which foreign powers were alleged to be involved
It comes after 20 people were arrested over the alleged plot, including the country's former finance minister Bassem Awadallah - an adviser to to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia, a long-term ally of Jordan, shared their support following claims of a coup.
And of the Saudi crown prince's aides Sunday appeared to brush off rumours the kingdom, and one of the Persian gulf states, was involved in the alleged plot.
In a tweet, which included four pictures of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, with Jordan's King Abdullah.
Royal adviser, Turki Alalshikh, said: 'No comment... the pictures speak.'
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.