Saudi Releases Highest-Profile Prince Arrested in Corruption Crackdown

Published November 29th, 2017 - 07:42 GMT
The prince was among those who paid money to the government in return for not going to court (AFP/File)
The prince was among those who paid money to the government in return for not going to court (AFP/File)

 

  • Saudi released Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, son of former King Abdullah
  • Mutaib was previously the commander of the National Guard
  • He was imprisoned at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh
  • He reportedly paid the government to not go to court

 

A high-level Saudi prince was released Tuesday three weeks after what the government called a corruption crackdown.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the 65-year-old son of former King Abdullah, is the highest-profile prince released since the arrest of 200 princes, former and current government officials and businessmen began on Nov. 4, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mutaib, who once led the country's national guard, was reportedly imprisoned at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh and is now back at his palace in Saudi Arabia's capital city.

It wasn't known if he is under house arrest, an associate of the royal family and an American official tracking the events told The New York Times.

The prince was among those who paid money to the government in return for not going to court, the Journal reported.

 

 

"People are being offered settlements and those who are agreeing are settling and going home," said Ali Shihabi, who is close to the Saudi government and is executive director of the Arabia Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, said. "People who don't agree will enter a formal legal process."

At one time Mutaib was a considered a potential successor to the Saudi throne, but he was seen as a rival to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who initiated the crackdown.

King Salman, 81, has given the 32-year-old bin Salman widespread authority over the country's military and economic policies.

Also released was Mohammed al-Tobaishi, the head of protocol in the royal court until the spring of 2015.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who currently or formerly owned stakes in News Corp, Citigroup, and Twitter, was among those detained. His status wasn't reported.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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