Saudi King Creates New Anti-Corruption Committee, Has 11 Princes Arrested
Al-Arabiya reported on Saturday evening that a new anti-corruption committee has been established by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, which almost immediately ordered the arrest of eleven Princes and a number of current and former government ministers.
“Laws will be applied firmly on everyone who touched public money and didn’t protect it or embezzled it, or abused their power and influence,” a statement from King Salman said during the broadcast.
Among those reportedly arrested was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who owns and is Chairman/CEO of investment firm Kingdom Holding Company. The names of the others arrested have not been made public.
Three government ministers were also replaced: the head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah (who was seen as a contender to become Crown Prince), has been replaced by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf; the Minister for Economy and Planning Minister, Adel Fakeih, has been replaced with his deputy, Mohammad Al Tuwaijri; and the Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces, Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, was replaced by Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghifaili.
The committee, formed as part of an “active reform agenda aimed at tackling a persistent problem that has hindered development efforts in the Kingdom in recent decades” because of the “propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest”, is to be headed by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the King’s favoured son and heir, who became Crown Prince in June.
It is being theorised that part of reasoning for the new committee and reshuffle is to consolidate more power behind the 32-year-old Crown Prince, who is also Minister of Defence and has large control over most aspects of the Saudi Kingdom.Filed under Saudi Arabia
Tagged Government, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, Legal Matters, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.