saudi arabia

Saudis recover $106.6 bn in anti-graft drive

56 suspects remain in custody pending further investigations: Attorney General

16:50 January 30, 2018
Shaikh Saud Al Mojeb

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Shaikh Saud Al Mojeb on Tuesday said anti-corruption settlements have generated more than 400 billion Saudi riyals.

The settlements were in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and others, he said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Al Mojeb, a member of the anti-corruption committee set up by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz on November 4, 2017, said 381 individuals had been summoned by the panel chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

However, many were called as witnesses to present their testimonies, he added.

The accused were confronted with the charges against them and were referred to the public prosecution.

Those against whom the authorities did not have any evidence of corruption were released, Al Mojeb said.

Those who admitted to charges of corruptions, but reached out of court settlement deals were also released and allowed to leave the Ritz Carlton hotel where they had been housed.

“However, 56 individuals who were refused settlement deals by the public prosecutor as there were other criminal cases [against them] were kept in custody pending further investigation as required by the regulations,” the attorney general said.

On Sunday, Saudi daily Okaz quoted sources as saying that the order to keep any detainee in custody or to release him was the prerogative of the investigators. “Those who will be kept will be referred to the courts under specific charges,” the sources said. “The public prosecution is the authority that charges or withholds charges and it has the right to summon any new suspects or witnesses. The prosecution investigates the suspects and levels the charges. The suspects will face a very normal and ordinary trial by the criminal court.”

Two courts deal with such cases, one in Riyadh and the other in Jeddah, and there will be no exceptional trial, the sources added.

“Each court looking into cases of corruption is made up of three judges.”

The Ritz Carlton is expected to be cleared of all the detainees by the end of this month and will open to guests on February 25.