Senior Saudi prince Miteb bin Abdullah, once seen as a leading contender to the throne, was freed after reaching an “acceptable settlement agreement” with authorities paying more than $1 billion.
Miteb, 65, son of the late King Abdullah and former head of the elite National Guard, was among dozens of royal family members, ministers and senior officials rounded up in a graft inquiry partly aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The official, who is involved in the anti-corruption campaign, said Miteb was released after reaching “an acceptable settlement agreement”. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed but the official said it is believed to be the equivalent of more than $1 billion. As per media reports from Middle East, Prince Miteb was accused of embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own firms including a $10 billion deal for walkie talkies and bulletproof military gear worth billions.
The allegations against others included kickbacks, inflating government contracts, extortion and bribery. News of the purge emerged on November 4 soon after King Salman decreed the creation of an anti-corruption committee led by Crown Prince Mohammed, also known as “MbS”, who has amassed power since his meteoric rise three years ago. The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets.
In an interview with the a daily from US published last week, Crown Prince Mohammed had said that the vast majority of about 200 businessmen and officials implicated in the crackdown were agreeing to settlements under which they would hand assets over to the government. Apart from Miteb, an official said that at least three other people allegedly involved in corruption cases have also finalized settlement agreements. He said the Public Prosecutor had also decided to release a number of individuals and to prosecute at least 5 individuals.