By Raf Sanchez
Details have emerged of last month's "palace coup" in Saudi Arabia which saw the King's 31-year-old son depose his older cousin to become heir to the throne.
Mohammed bin Nayef, the former crown prince, was reportedly held in a room in a royal palace in Mecca and told he could not leave until he surrendered his powers to his younger cousin, Mohammed bin Salman.
As part of the midnight plot, the New York Times reported that senior Saudi princes were told in a secret briefing that the 57-year-old bin Nayef's alleged addiction to painkillers rendered him unfit to become the next king.
The Saudi Government has been at pains to show there are no hard feelings between the deposed bin Nayef and his younger cousin, but the new account of the royal manoeuvrings shows the transition was less amicable than presented.
Bin Nayef was reportedly summoned to the Safa Palace on the evening of June 20 for what he thought was a regular meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Instead, he was reportedly taken into a side room and stripped of his mobile phone by royal officials, who told him he needed to give up his role as crown prince and relinquish the powerful role of Interior Minister.
Bin Nayaf initially refused, according to the newspaper, but as the night dragged on towards sunrise he eventually gave in.
In 2009, Bin Nayef narrowly survived an al-Qaeda assassination attempt.
It has been rumoured that he began taking painkillers after the attack, and became addicted. Bin Nayef has not commented publicly on these claims, which could not be independently verified.
Bin Nayef was also reportedly opposed to the Saudi-led diplomatic campaign against its neighbour, Qatar, which may have hastened his demotion.
Saudi and its three allies said yesterday that they were no longer insisting Qatar meet a list of 13 demands, including closing al-Jazeera, the television network.