Saudi Arabia releases corruption detainees, others before trial

Okaz says more detainees will be released in the coming days and trial proceedings will begin soon


Reuters December 27, 2017
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,PHOTO: REUTERS

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia has released 23 of the 200-or-so powerful individuals detained since November on corruption charges after they reached deals with the government, Okaz newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The report did not name those involved in what appeared to be the first large-scale release since the royals, business people and government officials were detained in a crackdown spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The suspects have been held at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel since early November and told to hand over assets and cash in exchange for their freedom.

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Okaz said more detainees would be released in the coming days and trial proceedings would begin soon for those who continue to deny the charges against them.

Saudi authorities see the settlements not as blackmail but as an obligation to reimburse money taken illegally from the world’s top oil producer over several decades.

Video posted on social media showed a smiling Saoud al-Daweesh, the former chief executive of Saudi Telecom, telling well-wishers he had been treated decently.

“Private Affairs (a unit of the Royal Court) brought us a full lamb dish day and night. They treated us well and did a good job,” he said. Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment.

COMMENTS (1)

t t | 4 years ago | Reply These officials are under investigation over their action of taking money from the government by overcharging and kickbacks. Corruptors who are held under investigation are to return what is approximately 100$ billion to the Saudi treasure fund.
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