Jordan has official accused former Crown-Prince Hamzah bin Hussein of plotting a coup d’état with support from foreign powers.

Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister, made the accusation in a press conference held on the noon of April 4.

Safadi accused Prince Hamzah of aiding actions aimed at targeting the “nation’s security”. According to him, recent investigations by authorities revealed contacts between the prince and his companions with “foreign entities”, all of them were arrested.

“Man linked to foreign security services offered Prince Hamza’s wife a plane to leave Jordan,” the Deputy PM said. “Prince Hamza sought to mobilize local figures for actions designed to harm national security, says deputy PM.”

Initially, Jordan denied reports revealing that Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest. The prince leaked a video to the press confirming that he was confined at his home. In the video, the prince, who was the second in royal succession line until 2004,  revealed harassment by the military and voiced harsh criticism against the government’s corruption and mismanagement.

In response to the video, Safadi accused Hamzah of distorting facts in an attempt to invite local and foreign empathy.

“All actions, moves contained, nipped in the bud,” Safadi told the press.

According to the Deputy PM, 16 plotters were apprehended by security forces, including Bassem Awadallah and Shareef Hassan bin Zaid. Awadallah has close ties with the Crown-Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohamad Bin Salman. This suggests that the planed coup d’état was linked to the oil-rich Kingdom.

It is worth noting however that Saudi Arabia was among the first countries to condemn the plot in Jordan and support King Abdullah II.

On Twitter, Noor Al Hussein, former Queen of Jordan and mother of Prince Hamzah, celled the accusations against her son a “wicked slander”.

Safadi concluded his conference by saying that the plot is still under investigation, stressing that a “legal path” will be taken. The senior official didn’t clarify if the former Crown Prince will be put on trial for his involvement in the alleged plot.

The alleged coup attempt in Jordan may be linked with the current shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. Jordan always maintained a balance between all the axes in the region, while remaining in a strategic alliance with the US and enjoying extraordinary relations with Israel.