Saudi billionaire prince Al-Waleed's brother freed from detention

By AFP
Published: November 4, 2018
SHARES
Email
Prince Al-Waleed, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia, was among those rounded up and was released in early January after an undisclosed financial agreement with the government.

 PHOTO: REUTERS

Prince Al-Waleed, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia, was among those rounded up and was released in early January after an undisclosed financial agreement with the government. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH: Saudi authorities have released the brother of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal after nearly a year in detention, family members said Saturday, as the kingdom faces international pressure over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The release of Prince Khalid bin Talal was confirmed by at least three relatives on Twitter, with photos shared of him kissing and embracing his son who has been in a coma for years.

“Thank god for your safety,” his niece Princess Reem bint Al-Waleed tweeted, posting additional pictures of the released prince with other relatives.

The government has not offered any public explanation for his arrest or the conditions of his release.

Saudi Arabia: a year of change with a new crown prince

The Wall Street Journal reported that he was detained for 11 months for criticising the biggest crackdown on the kingdom’s elite last November that saw dozens of princes, officials and tycoons detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The government labelled it a corruption crackdown, but critics said it was an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — heir to the Saudi throne — to sideline his potential rivals and consolidate power.

Prince Al-Waleed, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia, was among those rounded up and was released in early January after an undisclosed financial agreement with the government.

It appeared similar to deals that authorities struck with most other detainees in exchange for their freedom.

Prince Khalid’s release comes as the kingdom faces international outrage over the killing of Khashoggi inside its consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

It is widely seen as the worst diplomatic crisis facing the kingdom since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Khashoggi kill order came from ‘highest levels’ of Saudi govt: Erdogan

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said the order to murder Khashoggi came from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government, without directly naming the crown prince.

The government now appears keen to shore up internal royal family support to defuse the crisis.

Authorities could also potentially release other elites still in detention, including former Riyadh governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah and billionaire businessman Mohammed al-Amoudi, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The killing of Jamal Khashoggi has left the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its weakest diplomatic position since the horrific terror attacks of September 11,” Ali Shihabi, head of the pro-Saudi Arabia Foundation think tank, wrote in a report published on Friday.

Saudi Arabia always stands by Pakistan in difficult times, says PM Imran

“In the aftermath of the understandable global outrage at the Khashoggi murder, something will clearly have to give.”

Shihabi called for the release of “women activists and other moderate critics of the government” who have been detained in Prince Mohammed’s widely condemned crackdown on dissent in recent months.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (1)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Nov 4, 2018 - 6:20PM

    Rarely we get to see Humane side of these rich bilionairs .Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in World