Jordan imposes media blackout on palace feud

Jordan seeks to throw a veil over its public palace feud by ordering its media to stop reporting on an alleged plot the government says involves the half-brother of King Abdullah II.

Prince Hamzah had on Saturday harshly criticized Jordan’s leaders from what he said was house arrest — but in a dramatic about-turn on Monday pledged his loyalty to the royal family.

The palace released a signed statement in which the 41-year-old prince had changed his tone and pledged to “always be ready to help and support His Majesty the King and his Crown Prince.”

The monarchy ruling Jordan — a country long regarded as a pro-Western anchor of stability in a turbulent region — declared it was settling the matter “within the framework of the Hashemite family.”

Amman’s prosecutor general bans the publication of any information about the investigation into what the government has called a “wicked” plot against Jordan involving unnamed foreign entities.

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2006, file photo, Prince Hamzah Bin Al-Hussein, right, and Prince Hashem Bin Al-Hussein, left, half brothers of King Abdullah II of Jordan, attend the opening of the parliament in Amman, Jordan. (AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh, File)

The government has accused Hamzah — a former crown prince who was sidelined as heir to the throne in 2004 — of involvement in a conspiracy to “destabilize the kingdom’s security” and also arrested at least 16 people.

“In order to keep the security services’ investigation into Prince Hamzah and the others secret, (it is decided) to ban the publication of anything related to this inquiry at this stage,” prosecutor Hassan al-Abdallat says in a statement.

“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.”