Saudi princes choose cash settlement in favor of freedom



Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 08:00 GMT


Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 08:00 GMT

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman heads Riyadh's new anti-corruption committee- AFP

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman heads Riyadh's new anti-corruption committee- AFP

CAIRO – 29 November 2017: After three weeks of detention in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, the most politically influential royal detained in the anti-corruption campaign launched earlier this month, has been released, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The Saudi government released several high-profile suspects held in the wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign, in an indication that those accused of amassing wealth illegally have reached a cash settlement in exchange for their freedom, the Wall Street Journal revealed.

Saudi strategic expert Major General Anwar Eshgy said earlier that princes and businessmen who have been detained on charges of corruption have an opportunity to settle their statuses or they will be referred to legal lawsuits, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Saturday.

“The vast majority of about 200 Saudi businessmen and officials implicated in corruption by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are agreeing to settlements under which they hand over assets to the government,” the New York Times revealed on Thursday.

“We show them all the files that we have, and as soon as they see those, about 95 percent agree to a settlement,” meaning signing over cash or shares in their companies to the Saudi treasury. “About 1 percent are able to prove they are clean, and their case is dropped right there. About 4 percent say they are not corrupt and, with their lawyers, want to go to court,” the Crown Prince said.

“The settlement process is working,” a person close to the government said to the Wall Street Journal. “They want it to be over…that’s why they are offering a plea bargain,” he said of government officials.
“Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds. May God keep you safe always, Abu Abdullah,” a member of his family, Princess Nouf bint Abdullah al Saud, said in a message on Twitter on Tuesday in reference to Prince Miteb.

"Almighty, thanks be to you..." wrote Abeer bint Khaled bin Abdullah in a post on her Twitter account. Posting an apparent file photo of Prince Miteb, she added, "May God give you long life, long life full of health, and keep you for us."

Saudi authorities also released Mohammed al-Tobaishi, who served as head of protocol in the royal court until the spring of 2015. Mr. Tobaishi agreed to hand over cash and a property as part of his settlement, according to the Wall Street report on Tuesday.



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