Saudi official denies report that former crown prince confined to palace

A Saudi official has denied that former Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef is being confined and barred from overseas travel.
A Saudi official has denied that former Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef is being confined and barred from overseas travel. PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI - A Saudi official on Thursday denied a report that former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was confined to a palace and barred from travelling abroad after he was replaced by his cousin Prince Mohammed bin Salman as next to the throne.

"It's not true, 100 per cent," the official told Reuters, responding to a question on the report published by the New York Times.

The paper said the recently deposed crown prince has been barred from leaving the kingdom and confined to his palace in the coastal city of Jiddah, citing four current and former U.S. officials and Saudis close to the royal family.

"The new restrictions on the man who until last week was next in line to the throne and ran the kingdom's powerful internal security services sought to limit any potential opposition for the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, 31,", the paper reported the officials as saying. They spoke on the condition of anonymity in order not to jeopardise relationships with Saudi royals.

The Saudi monarch, King Salman, last week promoted his favorite son, Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince and removed Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, from the line of succession.

The former crown prince was also replaced as interior minister, a job which won him much respect after he dismantled al-Qaeda's networks inside the kingdom following a series of bombings.