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Saudi Arabia Freezes Accounts of Suspects Arrested in Anti-corruption Probe

Saudi Arabia Freezes Accounts of Suspects Arrested in Anti-corruption Probe

Monday, 6 November, 2017 - 06:30
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman (C) attending the military parade.— AFP/Saudi Royal Palace/Bandour Al-Jaloud.

Saudi authorities announced on Sunday a decision to freeze the bank accounts of figures previously arrested for their involvement in corruption cases.

The Saudi Information Ministry said through the Saudi Center of International Communication that the sums linked to the corruption cases and which are currently present in the bank accounts of the arrested suspects, would be returned to the Kingdom’s treasury.

Meanwhile, Asharq Al-Awsat learned on Sunday that the security apparatus operating in Saudi airports have enforced strict measures on the private planes of several figures, before their taking off.

The sources said that the Saudi security members prevented any private plane from leaving airports across the Kingdom before receiving a permit.

“Security members were seen in the lounges of private jets to monitor the situation and to make sure that no plane leaves the Kingdom without a permit,” the sources said.

They added that no decree was issued to prevent the taking off of private jets, however, additional security members were seen in the airports with a list of specific names who should be prevented from leaving.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb said that the anti-corruption probe would treat everyone with “the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen.”

Al-Mojeb said all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty, but added that a suspect’s position or status will “not influence the fair application of justice.”

The Attorney General said Sunday the newly formed anti-corruption committee headed by the Crown Prince is conducting investigations to ensure transparency and good governance.

Reuters said on Sunday that the Saudi anti-corruption measures were met by popular satisfaction, as Saudi nationals who spoke with the news agency had described the step as important to correct mistakes.

Saudi Arabia had launched on Saturday a strict campaign to fight corruption involving princes and ministers after the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree to form a supreme committee that could identify offenses, crimes, persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption.

At least 11 princes, 4 sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening.

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