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Number of Individuals Subpoenaed by Saudi Anti-Corruption Committee Stands at 320

Number of Individuals Subpoenaed by Saudi Anti-Corruption Committee Stands at 320

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 - 17:30
The number of individuals subpoenaed by the Saudi Anti-Corruption Committee stands at 320. (Reuters)

The Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mujib, a member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee that was formed by Royal Order No. (A/38) on the 4th of November 2017, issued the following statement concerning the proceedings of the Committee to date.

1. The number of individuals subpoenaed by the Committee stands at 320 individuals. Since the last update issued on the 9th of November 2017, and as a result of information revealed, additional individuals have been subpoenaed to provide any relevant information;

2. The Committee transferred a number of individuals to the Public Prosecution office. As a result, the current number of detainees is 159 individuals.

3. Most detainees faced with corruption allegations by the Committee agreed to a settlement. The necessary arrangements are being finalized to conclude such agreements;

4. The Public Prosecution office, pursuant to relevant laws, and based on evidence decided to continue detaining a limited number of individuals and release the remaining individuals; and

5. As a precautionary measure, the bank accounts of 376 individuals are frozen, all of whom are either detainees or linked to their corruption allegations.

In this context, the Attorney General confirms that all assets or corporate entities of those detained, and any rights of any other parties related to such assets or corporate entities shall not be affected or disrupted, and all measures to ensure the same have been taken.

The Attorney General indicated that the procedures in dealing with these cases is carried out in two phases:

The first phase is based on what the aforementioned Royal Order stipulated.

In relevant part, the Royal Order stipulates that the Committee "has the right to decide what it deems as achieving public interest especially with those who responded positively to the Committee." Therefore, in dealing with such cases, the Committee has followed internationally applied procedures by negotiating with the detainees and offering them a settlement that will facilitate recouping the State's funds and assets, and eliminate the need for a prolonged litigation.

This phase is expected to be concluded within a few weeks. During this period all detainees are allowed to contact whomever they wish. No detainee will be pressured in any shape or form, and each detainee has the right to refuse to settle at anytime before the settlement agreement is signed.

During this phase, each detainee is faced with the allegations against him. If he admits to the allegation, freely and without coercion, an agreement is reached with him for a settlement in exchange for a recommendation by the Committee to issue a pardon, and end the criminal litigation. A settlement agreement to this effect is drafted and executed.

If the detainee denies the allegations against him or a settlement is not reached, he will be transferred to Public Prosecution office.

The second phase sees the transfer of the case to the Public Prosecution.

The Public Prosecution office reviews the case of each individual transferred to it by the Committee, and implements the following procedures:

A. Continues to investigate the relevant crime and faces the suspect with evidence and available information concerning his corruption crimes. This is done in accordance with investigation procedures set forth in the Law of Criminal Procedures.

B. Decides the appropriate detention period as the case is investigated. If the evidence justifies detention, then it will be decided according to the relevant laws. Detention of up to six months can be decided by the Attorney General. If warranted, an extension of detention can be ordered by the relevant court.

C. If the investigation concludes that the evidence against the detainee is insufficient for the case to proceed, the Public Prosecution office will release the individual, otherwise the individual will be prosecuted according to the relevant procedures.

The Attorney General reiterates that the Law of Criminal Procedures guarantees defendant's rights, such as the right to an attorney during the processes of investigation and prosecution, the right to contact any person to inform of his detention and the right not to be detained for more than six months except by court order issued by the relevant court. The Law of Criminal Procedures also prohibits subjecting the detainee to any harm.

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