Saudi Arabian Corruption Detainees to Stand Trial
Some of the suspects have been held at Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton hotel since early November
Saudi Arabia has released 23 of the 200 powerful individuals detained since November on corruption charges after they reached deals with the government.
The report did not name those involved in what appeared to be the 1st 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.
More detainees will 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 as an obligation to reimburse money taken illegally from the world’s top Crude 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.
Two sons of Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah have been released from detention at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, days after the 23 other detainees in the Kingdom’s 2-month-old anti-corruption campaign were also freed.
Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General approved the release of Prince Meshaal bin Abdullah and Prince Faisal bin Abdullah after they reached financial settlements with the government, a senior Saudi official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The source did not elaborate on the settlements.
Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment.